Basic Paperwork for Health and Safety – Your Questions

Last reviewed on 16/07/2014 13:57

Question: Who is responsible for health and safety in voluntary organisations?

A: The Management Committee needs to accept formally and publicly its collective role in providing health and safety leadership within the organisation. The Health and Safety policy documentation needs to reflect this.

To assist with their duties, each organisation must appoint competent individuals. In making decisions on who to appoint, employers, including voluntary organisations, need to know and understand the work involved, the principles of risk assessment and prevention, current legislation and health and safety standards.

→ Read more on Health and Safety responsibilities within Voluntary Sector Organisations and Management Committees (external site).

Question: What health and safety information do I need to give my foreign workers?

A: Foreign workers have the same rights as any employee and should not be treated any differently.

Employers have a legal duty to provide all employees with the appropriate health and safety information and training to enable them to do their jobs without risk of illness or injury.

There are now large numbers of migrant workers employed here, many with limited or no grasp of English. This means you must find a way to pass on relevant health and safety information, instruction and training to them. Delivering this solely in English may mean that little or none of it will be understood.

You may need to deliver information through a translator, or use visual, rather than written or oral, delivery of presentations. Some employers are making more use of photographs and diagrams in work instructions, etc. Adequate signage is something else to consider.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has produced translations of a number of their publications in other languages including Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Czech, Greek, Gujarati, Lithuanian, Pashto, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, Ukrainian and Urdu.

→ View HSE's list of foreign language publications (external site)

→ Read more on Basic Paperwork for Health and Safety