OHSAS 18001:2007 clause 4.3.2 states that the organisation shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) for identifying and accessing the legal and other OH&S requirements that are applicable to it. In addition clause states the organisation shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) for periodically evaluating compliance with applicable legal requirements.

However, irrespective of OHSAS 18001, it is necessary for every organisation to comply fully with all relevant health and safety legislation and the penalties for not doing so can be severe. The only real solution is to have a procedure in place that ensures compliance with legislation is being managed effectively. If you want to find out if your organisation complies with H&S legal requirements then take our test.

Can you answer ‘yes’ to the following three questions?

1: Do you have a comprehensive and up-to-date list of the legislation that applies to your organisation?

It is easy to obtain a list of legislation that is enforced by the HSE – it is freely available on their website. However, there is a whole lot of legislation that falls within the health and safety remit that is not enforced by the HSE. For example, the need for an ‘accident book’. This is not health and safety legislation at all, it is social security legislation and is there for the purposes of sick pay and claims. Other examples of legislation that are usually dealt with by health and safety professionals, despite not being enforced by the HSE include:

  • Consumer protection legislation
  • Public health legislation
  • Terms and conditions of employment legislation

2: Have you identified all the requirements imposed by the items of legislation in your up-to-date list?

All legislation is available to download, free, from the legislation.gov.uk website. However, the Statutory Instruments on this website are not up-to-date. For example, if you download a copy of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations it will be what was originally published in 1992. There is nothing to warn you that these Regulations have been amended by ten other Statutory Instruments since 1992. You could use the HSE’s published guidance on the legislation since this guidance includes the amendments. There are two problems with this:

  • The HSE does not produce guidance on all of the items of legislation it enforces
  • The HSE does not automatically produce revised guidance when legislation is amended

All of this means that identifying the requirements that apply to you is not always a straightforward task.

3: Are you systematically evaluating the extent to which your organisation is complying with the applicable requirements?

When you have identified the applicable requirements you then need to evaluate your level of compliance with these requirements. This is normally achieved by monitoring which is formally defined as determining the status of a system, a process, a product, a service, or an activity. However, monitoring is only the start – the information collected must then be then analysed correctly, and used to produce meaningful reports.

If you don’t have three ‘yes’ answers then we can help.

1. Legal Register Service

On the basis of a discussion and, if necessary, a site visit we can agree with you which legislation is relevant and prepare for you an electronic copy of

  • The titles of all the relevant legislation
  • A summary of the key requirements of all the relevant legislation

This is your Legal Register.

As legislation changes, subscribers to the Legal Register Service are sent details of required changes to their Legal Register. Hastam will also complete an annual review of your Legal Register so that we can identify lost or corrupted information.

2. Pro-Evaluate Legal Compliance Software

To enable you to put in place a robust monitoring regime to demonstrate compliance Hastam provides training and guidance in the use of Pro-Evaluate. This software enables you to:

  • Have checklists that match your Legal Register and enable detailed monitoring and internal audit
  • Analyse monitoring and internal audit results in a variety of ways and produce a range of reports
  • Track corrections and corrective actions

3. External Audit of Legal Compliance

Hastam can also provide an external audit of compliance. This service provides you with both an external assessment of your degree of compliance and an assessment of the accuracy of your internal evaluation of compliance. The cost of the audit is dependent on the extent of exercise you require. For more details as to how Hastam could assist your organisation address your health and safety legal compliance challenges contact us using our contact request form.

Please note that the products listed here are designed for England, Wales and Scotland. If you are operating in Northern Ireland different legislation will apply and some development work would be needed.