Health & Safety Issues for the Self Employed

There’s a lot of confusion about the changes to Health and Safety legislation relating to the self employed. A few years ago, a report was undertaken, which indicated that self employed people who pose no risk to others should be excluded from Health and Safety legislation, unless they are engaged in certain high risk activities. The government has implemented this legislation with a series of complex sets of regulations which most self employed people have no chance of understanding. Basically, self employed people are now excluded from some Health and Safety legislation if they pose no risk to others and if they’re not engaged in specific activities listed in the regulations, including construction, agriculture and asbestos removal.

The best way to decide whether or not a self employed person is excluded from the legislation is to see if they’re working in one of those types of activities and actually posing a risk to anyone else. A self employed web designer, working at home, would be excluded from Health and Safety legislation; a self employed bridge designer working from home would not be excluded, because their work actually imposes a risk to others, in, for example, a defective design of their bridge.

There are other issues to consider, for businesses bringing self employed people onto their premises. In such a situation, the individuals should not be exempt from Health and Safety legislation, because they could pose a risk to other people in the building. Working on your own, in your own home, you do not pose any risk to other people. However, once you start engaging with members of the public, most people will have the potential for causing risk to others.

The most important aspect of Health and Safety for the self employed is not to think that you don’t have to comply with the legislation. If you don’t comply you still have the potential for civil liability claims being brought against you, if other people are injured.

Health and Safety for the self employed can be confusing. If you’re in any doubt about what you should do, contact us at Quadriga and we can advise you, for your particular situation. Call us on 0118 9299 924.

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