As a business owner, we all strive to grow our company to become more successful, more profitable and wider reaching. However, whilst there are hundreds of positives that come with this progression, as your business expands, so does the need to comply with specific regulations. Failure to comply with any of these laws can result in serious consequences such as large fines, business closure and even a prison sentence.
The sheer volume of rules and regulations can at times be confusing and hard to understand, especially when it comes to having a larger business. But despite the high volume of business regulations, getting to grips with the main rules isn’t as complicated as it may seem. And it’s important to remember that compliance doesn’t just protect employees, but it also develops a productive, pleasant workplace, as well as build your business’s reputation.
In this article, we will help you navigate the main regulations that your business should be aware of and must comply with:
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 applies to all aspects of electrical use in the workplace, and it states that all electrical systems must be maintained in a safe manner. This includes carrying out Portable Appliance Testing on all portable equipment (electricals that can be moved). For example, these pieces of equipment could be anything from computers to kettles. Testing should be carried out regularly by authorised personnel only, and must cover:
- Visual inspection – to look for external damage as well as wiring and fuse problems.
- Earth continuity testing – to make sure that there’s a good connection between the mains plug and any earthed metal parts.
- Insulation testing – to check for weakness and faults.
Under the same regulation, Fixed Wire Testing is also a legal requirement for all premises to ensure all electrical installations/circuits correspond to the most recent wiring regulations. Again, testing must be carried out by a qualified engineer. And most workplaces will need to have one of these tests every 5 years, whilst industrial buildings must be tested every 3 years. Though, it’s advised that all industrial, commercial and domestic buildings, are inspected on a yearly basis.
At MSL, our M&E (mechanical and electrical) services not only design and install electrical systems tailored to your business’s needs but ensure you remain compliant with all electrical legislation. Our team is qualified to carry out an extensive range of statutory inspection testing, including Electrical Installation Condition Reports and Portable Appliance Testing.
Employers and the self-employed have an obligation to ensure that gas installations, appliances, pipe work and flues are maintained in a safe manner. The Gas Safety Regulations 1998 states that all gas systems must be checked regularly (at least annually) to ensure that they’re operating safely. And this must be carried out by registered gas-safe engineers. Checks under this regulation include:
- Safe installation
- Inspection and certification for all types of gas equipment
Complying with this regulation means injury to stakeholders from carbon monoxide poisoning or fire and explosion will be prevented.
Trying to understand the intricacies of each rule and regulation can be difficult. However, we can do the hard work for you with our quality compliance maintenance service. We will plan maintenance visits to manage your gas safety inspections and certifications on your behalf using a proficient team. In addition to this, keep in mind that the Gas Safe Register is the official gas registration body for Great Britain. Therefore, by law, your gas engineer must be on this register. With MSL, you can have peace of mind that all of our professionals are registered Gas Safe Engineers.
All water systems must have a certified Legionella Risk Assessment (valid for 2 years). This is to ensure that the risk of legionella is actively being reduced. Many businesses are also required to carry out monthly testing of water temperatures, to check it’s kept at an optimum temperature, therefore preventing any water borne diseases. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988 requires that employers reduce employee exposure to any hazardous substances, including those that are borne in water.
At MSL, we can assist with these procedures, ensuring your water systems are operating in a manner that guarantees safety for all users. Other than Legionella Risk Assessments, our water services also include:
- UKAS Approved Microbiological Sampling
- Control, Management and Monitoring Systems
- Water Treatment and Bacterial Control
- System Modification, Cleans and Chlorination
- Tank Refurbishment/Replacement
- Training Services
As well as risk assessment reviews and a written scheme policy guidance to provide the required control strategies, we can also deliver remobilisation of water services. For example, this would be required if your facility was in a position where it would need to shut down.
Unfortunately, asbestos in buildings is still an ongoing issue, with many buildings in the UK still believed to contain the toxic substance. For that reason, the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 was put in place, requiring all building owners to identify and maintain an up to date on site Asbestos Register and a management process to ensure the safety of all. The removal of the substance must be carried out by licensed asbestos removal professionals.
As well as covering maintenance of all standard regulations, our compliance maintenance service will also establish procedures for identifying and removing asbestos. Our highly skilled team of professionals will identify, manage and control asbestos in the workplace under the following services:
- Management Surveys
- Management Survey Annual Re-Inspections
- Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys
- Removal Services
- Encapsulation Services
- Training Services
The General Data Protection Act 2018 is a regulation that requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of all stakeholders from customers to staff, as well as the exportation of personal data.
The most common pieces of data that your business might store include:
- Telephone numbers
- Bank and credit card details
- Health information
All of these types of data contain sensitive information relating to staff as well as their extended family, shareholders, business partners and clients, customers and other members of the public. By law, it’s a business’s duty to keep such data accurate, safe, secure and lawful. And in the event of failed compliance, serious consequences can be faced, from large fines to even a prison sentence. At MSL, we have several security services like access control, CCTV and monitoring, as well as reactive maintenance, to prevent burglary and trespassing that could put data at risk.
If you would like more information on how to safeguard your business and the sensitive data that it holds, our guide can provide all the answers in more depth.
The Regulatory Reform Order 2005 requires that all aspects of fire safety are managed by a responsible person, for example, a business owner, manager or employer. The individual must ensure that all fire systems are inspected and checked regularly. This is in order to comply with relevant British Standards, as well as ensure fire risk assessments are carried out, staff are trained and fire emergency evacuation routes planned.
Does your facility’s fire alarm equipment need inspecting and you don’t know where to begin? MSL can help! Our compliance team will ensure that all aspects of your fire safety equipment comply with the relevant British Standard. In addition to this, our skilled team can install high-quality fire alarm systems to prevent potential disasters from happening, keeping staff as well as visitors safe.
Health and Safety
There are a number of Health and Safety Regulations that your company may have to abide by, and these include:
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which includes undertaking risk assessments in the workplace.
- Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, which requires employers to provide a safe and healthy work environment for staff and customers.
Failure to comply with health and safety legislation not only endangers your employees and clients, but can result in large fines, and in some cases, court proceedings.
At MSL, we can provide you with a planned maintenance schedule to spot healthy and safety issues/concerns before they cause a major breakdown/need costly repairs. And our hygiene services will ensure staff and customers are in a safe and healthy environment. For example, planned industrial cleans will provide a deeper clean, tackling infection inducing hotspots, such as ventilation ducts. And our SAFETouch+ package is particularly beneficial, as it uses the latest fogging technology to offer an exceptional sanitising solution. It has been designed for disinfecting, sterilisation, anti-virus and disease prevention but also air purification too.
The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulation 1981 requires employers to provide adequate and appropriate first-aid equipment. The minimum provision is:
- Suitably stocked first-aid kit
- Appointed person to take charge of first-aid arrangements
- Information for employees about first-aid arrangements
Under the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations 2007, air conditioning systems must have regular energy inspections. How often these take place depends on the weight and number of units:
- Every 3 months – buildings over 300kg refrigerant, usually more than 75 air conditioning units.
- Every 6 months – buildings over 30kg refrigerant, usually 15 – 75 air conditioning units.
- Every 12 months – buildings over 3kg refrigerant, usually 1 – 15 air conditioning units.
The inspections must be carried out by an approved inspector, and should take into account design, installation and operation of the system.
Aside from air conditioning maintenance being an important regulation for businesses, if staff are uncomfortable in their working environment, they’re less likely to be productive. And therefore, regular maintenance of your HVAC system can help boost productivity by maintaining a comfortable temperature and decreasing humidity in a room. Considering this, you may want to implement a planned maintenance programme to keep on top of purging indoor air pollutants in order to provide fresh air within the workplace. Our expert team will clean your HVAC system’s filters and coils to remove bacteria of any kind and check that the air conditioning unit is operating correctly. Our team will also carry out scheduled checks and maintain your systems for you, making breakdowns less likely, and keep you compliant with UK legislation.
These rules and regulations may seem overwhelming and complex. However, by creating a detailed compliance maintenance checklist, with clear dates to work towards, you can be assured that your entire business is compliant. MSL’s Compliance Maintenance Services can help you create and maintain a fully comprehensive checklist, as well as carry out any checks, inspections and maintenance as and when needed.
If you are interested in finding out more about how our services can keep your business compliant, get in touch with us on 0333 1234450.