Working in other people’s premises

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Top tips for working in other people's premises

As a small business owner, it can be daunting getting to grips with the various aspects of Health and Safety law and how this applies to your small business. However, getting into good practice, knowing your responsibilities, is vital. The good news is that taking time to identify potential risks and managing the hazards involved in the workings of your operation, allows you to take a professional stance to mitigate against them thus enabling you to concentrate on your core business and do a good job.

So what are the main areas to think about for health and safety for small business owners when you’re working out at other people’s premises?

picture of a florist with a ladder

1. Understand the law

Health and Safety is one of the only areas of compliance where both civil and criminal law apply.

Criminal law 
Under health and safety law, as an employer, you have a responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety. No one has to have been harmed for an offence to be committed under the Health & Safety at Work Act, there only has to be a risk of harm.

Civil Law 
Under civil law, if someone has been injured or made ill through your negligence as an employer, they may be able to make a compensation claim against you. You can also be found liable if someone who works for you has been negligent and caused harm to someone else.


image showing a gavel and the words criminal law

2. Ensure you have the correct insurance

Ensure you have the correct insurance – in most cases, employers must have employers’ liability insurance. This will enable you to meet the cost of compensation for your employees’ injuries or illness. It’s a criminal offence if you do not have it.

Public liability Insurance isn’t a mandatory insurance, BUT it works in the same way. It is designed to meet the cost of compensation for injury or illness to members of the public.

image showing an insurance policy

3. Carry out a risk assessment

Carry out a Risk Assessment.  Think about the risks involved in carrying out your particular work.

Where are the hazards? And how can you mitigate against them?

For example, if carrying out overhead work, you might need to consider whether people can walk underneath and you’ll also want to consider the suitability of the equipment used.

risk assessment

Our 3 Top Tips

And remember these 3 top tips:

1. Do not underestimate the time it takes, particularly with the more complex jobs, to comply with all the paperwork involved.  Factor in your time so you can charge for it.

2. Have details of your insurance and risk assessment to hand as you may be asked to provide evidence to those managing third party premises.

3. When working at third party premises, ask to see their H&S policy, risk assessment and insurance details AND READ THEM. Ensure you are able to comply with everything they have in their policy in the same way you would expect them to read and comply with yours.

image of a florist with a ladder placing a flower in a vase

The Stressfree Business Hub

We hope this blog post has been useful to you.

We talk in more detail over in our Facebook community “The Stressfree Business Hub” about all of these topics so you can be better informed and make the right decisions when setting up in business.

If you’re not already part of our community, it’s entirely free and can be found here:

Blog featured image Stressfree Business Hub the launch of our Facebook groupLiz & Doug are a husband and wife team who have been running successful micro businesses for 25 years. With backgrounds as a “big 4” chartered accountant and as consultants, both have worked for large companies with clients worldwide. They believe that with the right know-how and support, starting a business can be made easy (or certainly easier!)

The contents of this blog are for general information purposes only and are correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of going to press. You may wish to seek professional advice in relation to specific circumstances.

And if you’d like some assistance, our Stressfree Business Audit is just one of the ways in which we can help you.

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