As a business owner, we all strive to grow our company to become more successful, wider reaching and more profitable. However, whilst there are many hundreds of positives that come with this progression, as your business grows, so does the need to comply with certain rules and regulations. Failure to comply with any of these laws can result in huge fines, business closure and even a prison sentence. However, these regulations can be complicated to understand, especially with a larger business.
In this blog, we break down the main legislations that your business is likely to need to comply with:
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 states that all electrical systems must be maintained safely. This includes carrying out portable appliance testing on all portable equipment (any electrical item that can be moved, from computers to kettles). The testing must cover; visual inspection (looking for external damage as well as wiring and fuse problems), earth continuity testing and insulation testing (checking for weakness and faults). The testing should be carried out regularly, and by authorised personnel only.
Gas regulations (The Gas Safety Regulations 1998) states that all gas systems must be checked regularly (at least annually) to ensure they are safe. This includes safe installation, servicing, inspection and certification for all types of gas equipment. These must be carried out by registered gas-safe engineers.
All water systems must have a valid Legionella Risk Assessment (these stay valid for 2 years), to ensure that the risk of legionella is reduced. Many businesses are also required to carry out monthly testing of water temperatures to check that water is kept at an optimum temperature to avoid any water borne diseases. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988 (COSHH) requires that employers reduce workers exposure to any hazardous substances, including those borne in water. Employers are responsible for determining what health hazards there are in the work place, carrying out risk assessments and providing information, instruction and training for employees.
Unfortunately, asbestos in buildings is still an 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 safely remove any materials that may contain asbestos. The removal of the substance must be carried out by licensed asbestos removal professionals.
General Data Protection Regulation
GDPR is a regulation that requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of their customers, as well as the exportation of personal data.
The Regulatory Reform Order 2005 requires that all aspects of fire safety are managed by a ‘responsible person’ i.e. business owner, manager or employer. The individual needs to ensure that all fire systems are inspected and checked regularly in order to comply with relevant British Standards, fire risk assessments are carried out, staff are trained and fire emergency evacuation routes planned.
Health and Safety
There are a number of Health and Safety Regulations that your company may have to abide by. These include The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which includes making risk assessments of the workplace, and The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, which requires employers to provide a safe and healthy work environment for their staff and customers.
The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulation 1981 requires employers to provide adequate and appropriate first-aid equipment. The minimum provision is:
- a suitably stocked first-aid kit
- an 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 undertake regular energy inspections. The regularity of these depends on the weight and number of units, so:
Every 12 months – buildings over 3kg refrigerant, usually 1 – 15 air conditioning units
Every 6 months – buildings over 30kg refrigerant, usually 15 – 75 air conditioning units
Every 3 months – buildings over 300kg refrigerant, usually more than 75 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.
Although all these rules and regulations may seem overwhelming and complex, 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 when needed.