Legal Article - Health & Safety

Deciding Who Might Be Harmed

The employer must then think how employees (or others who may be present, such as contractors or visitors) might be harmed. Employers should ask their employees what they think are the hazards that they are faced with – employees may notice things that are not obvious to the employer and they may have some good ideas on how to control the risks.

Employers will need to be clear about each hazard and clear about who might be harmed. This approach (working with employees) will often help employers to then identify the best way of controlling the risk. This approach does not mean listing everyone by name, but rather identifying groups of people (e.g. people working in the storeroom or those in the vehicle workshop, or those in the Car Showroom).

Employers should take account of the following:


· Some workers may have particular requirements, e.g. new and young workers, migrant workers, new or expectant mothers, people with disabilities, temporary workers, contractors, homeworkers and lone workers (visit www.hse.gov.uk/ toolbox/workers).

· Think about those persons who might not be in the workplace all the time, such as visitors, contractors and maintenance workers.

· Members of the public; especially if they could be harmed by the work activities undertaken.

· If the workplace is shared with another business, then each employer (sharing a place of work) should consider how their work affects other (non-employees) and how other employers work activities may affect the health and safety of their own employees. Employers will need to talk to each other and make sure that adequate controls are identified and put into place.

· Ask workers if there is anyone that may have been missed.

Author: Ernie Taylor

Published: 19 Sep 2016

Edited: 19 Sep 2016

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