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Self Employed? Where do you stand with Health and Safety!
Do you know where you stand when it comes to Self employment and the Health & Safety Executive?
Being self-employed can be confusing at the best of times, working out your costs, your hours, finding your niche market and then there’s the discipline to commit to it 100% to lift your business off the ground and become successful. From personal experience I know its tough but also has its rewards and done right, can be the best thing you’ll ever do. So I commend anyone prepared to take the leap of faith (“with good planning mind”) and start their own business.
Now depending on your chosen area of expertise the Health & Safety Executive has guidelines that you must comply with to also be able to run a Health & Safety conscious business. So what is meant by self employed? For health and safety law purposes, ‘self-employed’ means that you do not work under a contract of employment and work only for yourself.
- What is a ‘risk to the health and safety of others’?
- What the law says:
- Health & Safety - Risk Assessments
- Occupational Health Screening
This is the likelihood of someone else being harmed or injured (eg members of the public, clients, contractors etc) as a consequence of your work activity.
Now what comes in to question is does your business potentially affect the health and safety of your customers or employees you may have working for you. Most self-employed people will know if their work poses a risk to the health and safety of others. You must consider the work you are doing and judge for yourself if it creates a risk or not.
- if your work activity is specifically mentioned in the regulations above
- or if your work activity poses a risk to the health and safety of others, then the law applies to you
For example if you operate a swimming pool for the public to use then your work could affect the health and safety of other people and you must take appropriate steps to protect them as the law will apply to you.