3 overlooked compliance issues for small businesses

Don’t be tempted to cut corners when it comes to compliance, especially when it comes to fires, appliances and general waste

What does compliance mean?

Compliance is following a set of standards that have been set in force by the law.

One of the most common laws for all workplace sectors is the health and safety at work act (1974). This places a duty that all employers must make their establishment safe for everyone who enters.

For small businesses, understandably profit comes first but, a focus on risk assessments should be considered.

The courts hold greater sentencing powers. For breaches of health and safety, higher courts can impose unlimited fines.

Here are the three most common issues overlooked by small businesses:

1. Fire safety for small businesses

With the implementation of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005/2006/2010, non-compliance is no longer an option for businesses in the UK, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

However, as of June 2017, the fire-rescue service attended over 11,600 fires in UK non-residential buildings. Fires are avoidable if the right measures are in place.


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Fire alarms, extinguishers and emergency lights all play a pivotal role in fire prevention.

2. Portable appliance testing

Faulty electrics are the most common cause of fires, with washing machines accounting to 14% of accidental fires, which is why portable appliance testing (PAT) is vital.

Fires can even start from faulty electric appliances. Electrics can decay over time which leads them to develop serious faults. Possible items include anything from hair dryers, vacuums to the staff kettle.

It is often the things we least expect that can do the most harm. Recently, A manufacturer in Yate dispatched over a million faulty tumble dryers leading to probable fire risks.

The need to test is especially important for small businesses such as beauticians where many electrical appliances are used.

3. General waste

Confusion comes from which laws are relevant. Legislation is often changing, and local enforcement can be confusing.

Edinburgh council began a pilot experiment upon city centre commercial waste. This scheme has grown towards Glasgow and even London.

Businesses are no longer allowed to leave rubbish outside premises and must collect them within a set time period.

These areas are of importance to many different business sectors.  Although, there are other safety features which aren’t as obvious but as important.

We campaign for better standards

Over 100,000 people in the UK suffer sudden cardiac death every year. Unlike a heart attack, it can strike at any time.

A recent survey from Direct365 questioned the companies who purchased automatic external defibrillators (AED).

In 31 responses on three occasions, the defibrillator had saved a life. It found 53% decided to buy an AED following the recommendation of a health and safety professional or they had received first aid training.

Currently, there is no UK legislation requiring an organisation to install an AED unit in vulnerable areas like schools, hospitals or care homes.

For those with a unit, it is recommended to visually inspect the devices every month and replace the consumable parts when needed.

Last compliance advice for small businesses

Cutting corners never work, it’s a short-term solution that doesn’t end well in the long run.

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