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Health and safety: Who’ll do what in your business?

Use our handy table of who will be responsible for what – from business owners through to customers – once the law changes next year.

New laws are expected to come into effect in April 2016, to be confirmed once the Health and Safety at Work Act is passed. But who’ll be responsible for what in your business

This month, as part of our ongoing series on the upcoming reforms, the focus is on the new responsibilities for small business owners and operators, plus their staff, visitors and customers – explained with the help of a fictional plumbing business.

Case study

Who'll do what

J&J Plumbing Ltd is co-owned by plumber Joe Bloggs and office manager Jo Bloggs. The company employs plumber Jane Doe and A.N Other as plumber’s mate. They work in a variety of locations, including the company’s registered office and on site at customers’ homes and workplaces.

WhoMust-do's under the new law
J&J Plumbing Ltd Under the new law, the company itself will be the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU). This means it will have overall responsibility for the health and safety of its staff and others affected by its work. The company has to discuss health and safety matters with its staff, and in practice it will usually do this through its managers.
Jo and Joe Bloggs As directors, Jo and Joe will be required to make sure J&J Plumbing Ltd complies with its obligations. As workers, Jo and Joe will also have to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and others, and follow J&J Plumbing Ltd’s policies and instructions.
Jane Doe and A.N Other Workers will have to take reasonable care to ensure the health and safety of themselves and others, and follow J&J Plumbing Ltd’s policies and instructions.
Customers Customers will have to take reasonable care for their own and others’ health and safety on their premises, e.g. taking care around where the plumbers are working. They will also have to follow on-site safety instructions from J&J’s staff.

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