Many firms are unaware of new legislation that comes into effect in April, which is that all UK workplaces must display a new and updated Health & Safety Law poster from April 5.
Places of work have been required to display the current Health & Safety poster in a prominent position since 1999, as part of the Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations (HSIER).
However from 5 April 2014, all workplaces will need to have the new poster in place and all offsite workers must be given a new pocket card that has been produced to replace the Health and Safety leaflets that used to be given out.
The old Health and Safety law poster has been redesigned, as it was visually unappealing with too much small text and, despite it being easily recognisable to millions of people, very few ever read it. However, the new poster is designed to be easier to digest, with less text and it contains colour images, which immediately make it more eye catching.
Another change is that employers are no longer required to write contact details for local enforcing authorities and Employment Medical Advisory Services on the new poster. Instead there is a helpline that employees can call with any queries.
Health and safety agents say they know from regular site visits to businesses across all industries that lots of organisations are still using the old poster and that the majority of these are unaware that these changes are just a matter of weeks away, so there will be lots that miss the deadline.
Businesses can obtain a copy of the new poster through the Health and Safety Executive or via agents but should be aware that another development on the new poster is that each one includes a hologram and serial number in the bottom right corner to certify that it is genuine.
Mackrell Turner Garrett Solicitors in London
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