With the ever-increasing burden of compliance guidance and legislation businesses face a constant struggle to keep staff, customers and visitors safe and avoid litigation. We’ve put together 10 compliance essentials that, as a business owner, you need to know about.
1. PAT testing
The electrical equipment around your premises should be checked regularly in order to meet legislative requirements and keep your business and staff safe. Faulty electrical equipment can cause shocks, burns or fires and employers are responsible for maintaining any appliances that are in use on their premises, whether they are owned by the company or not.
2. Fixed Electrical Testing
Fixed Electrical Testing covers the electrical services and wiring systems that take electricity around a building. Employers are legally responsible to do everything ‘reasonably practicable’ to ensure their employees and site visitors are not put at risk by faulty fixed wiring.
3. Fire Safety Compliance and Best Practice
All commercial premises need to comply with fire safety regulations which requires minimising the risk in workplaces, carrying out assessments and putting precautions in place. Failure to follow these regulations can result in a fine or even a prison sentence.
4. Energy Performance
If you rent out or sell your premises or when construction of any new business premises is completed you need to have your building assessed and an Energy Performance Certificate issued. Fines can be imposed if you do not make an EPC available to a prospective buyer or tenant and, in some instances, if your Energy Performance Certificate is not on display in a prominent place.
5. Air conditioning servicing
If your business premises have air conditioning systems fitted these must be properly maintained. Having a serviced air conditioning system is good for your business: it increases efficiency and therefore reduces your energy consumption, emissions and of course bills.
6. Legionella testing and management
Legionella is a bacteria which can be present in water and soil, and which can cause an illness similar to pneumonia when people come into contact with it. Any person with responsibility for the management of a water system has a legal responsibility to control the risk associated with Legionella.
7. Emergency Lighting Requirements
Emergency lighting is used in an emergency when mains power is lost and normal lighting fails. Mains power could be lost as a result of a power cut or fire, plunging your premises into darkness and endangering staff and other occupants. Emergency escape lighting is part of a building’s fire safety system and is a requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
8. Noise control: Compliance and best practice for businesses
Noise from businesses can range from the sound of industrial machinery to music in a bar or nightclub. It can cause stress and hearing damage, as well as being a serious safety risk.
You need to consider both the noise from your business that is heard by people outside of the premises, and the noise that your employees are exposed too.
9. Packaging Regulations and Compliance
If you are UK business with an annual turnover in excess of £2million and handling more than 50 tonnes of packaging each year you have a responsibility to comply with the packaging waste regulations. Your business must be registered with the Environment Agency as a producer of packaging and you will be required to meet annual recycling targets.
10. IT Best Practice and Data Compliance
Almost two-thirds of small businesses experience a cyber breach every year in the UK making investment in data backup and security is essential.
If you hold and process information about your clients, employees or suppliers, you are legally obliged to protect that information under the Data Protection Act. Hefty fines can be imposed by the Information Commissoner’s Office (ICO) for failures under the Data Protection Act.
If you need more information on compliance management contact us on 01422 880180.