Health and safety legislation applies to all businesses, including third sector employers such as voluntary organisations, charities, social enterprises and not for profit businesses. All these employers have the same health and safety duties as any private sector employer in the same circumstances. HSE has undertaken some specific initiatives aimed at the public and voluntary/charity sectors
HSE is committed to working with third sector organisations to promote and embed sensible risk management. This includes:
HSE has held early discussions with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) about the impact of conditions of insurance on community events. These events are often organised by volunteers, who have difficulty differentiating between what is required by health and safety legislation and what may be identified as conditions of insurance. HSE is also supporting work being developed by a stakeholder for a ‘one stop shop’ for community event organisers which will provide straightforward guidance on relevant health and safety issues.
HSE has also worked closely with the Charities Safety Group (CSG) to enhance the availability of health and safety guidance within this sector. In the 2007 Plan, HSE committed to considering the value of revising its specific publication for charities and voluntary workers. Since this time HSE has worked closely with the CSG Secretariat to enhance the availability of relevant guidance to organisations within this sector.
HSE has, for example, provided the CSG Secretariat with a master copy of the HSE film called 'Health and safety for charities and voluntary organisations'. This will enable CSG to make the film available on the CSG website to visitors.
In 2008, HSE also provided CSG with 1000 complimentary copies of the priced publication called 'Charity and voluntary workers: a guide to health and safety at work'. A printer-friendly PDF version of the printed guidance which can be downloaded free of charge for viewing and local printing was also one of the first available on the new HSE Books commercial website launched in September 2009. HSE has agreed to consider CSG proposals to change the content of the publication at the next reprint of the document.
HSE has also developed and produced a CD Rom on the new health and safety law poster for voluntary organisations and charities and in a separate project has worked with Youthnet to promote a piece of work on the health and safety of young people at work that they had developed (using an HSE inspector).