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Lighthouse Blog

SECTION 33

Section 33

Harry Collins our Training Director writes: “Following my last two blogs- Section 2 & Section 40 of the Health & Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 I am now writing about section 33! The last in this series and will hopefully help a few people out.

So section 33 of the Health & Safety at Work Etc Act 1974, what does it say? Well in short…

It is an offence to contravene any Prohibition or Improvement notice, It is an offence to obstruct an inspector, It is an offence to make false statements to an inspector, It is an offence to make false entry to any register, It is an offence to forge a document.

Now the above Law should not be a surprise to anyone, that forging a document or making a false entry to a register was a bad thing to do, but many do not realise it’s an actual criminal offence. In a recent prosecution by the HSE two scaffold inspectors were prosecuted for signing of scaffolding that they had not actually carried out. This caused the scaffold to be unsafe and an employee fell from the scaffold and was seriously injured.

On this note, I have been witness to and have heard many stories of paperwork being completed without actually conducting the requirement of the paperwork. One scenario that occurs a lot would be signing to confirm understanding of Risk Assessments and Method Statements, or delivery of site inductions and more often delivery of Tool Box Talks. As a rhetorical question… Have you ever or been in knowledge of signing of or forging paperwork with regard to H&S matters?

Add the above message to the other two blogs:

  1. Supervision & Monitoring- A legal & moral requirement to provide, conduct and document H&S Monitoring
  2. Burden of Proof falls to the accused– Should an accident & investigation from an enforcing authority occur the requirement to prove compliance falls to the accused
  3. Falsifying documents- Evidence of “tick box” practices could lead to hot water, legally, very quickly

So to summarise on the blogs in total, whilst paperwork may be a burden, it is hugely important. However you do not want to be doing paperwork for paperwork sake, or checks on the checks for the checks! You need in this modern world a robust, accurate and in date management system especially a H&S system and more often than not you may need help….. Which is where Lighthouse come in. We offer a consultation service / health and safety advisor service which aims to advise our clients on the dangers of and the legal requirements that govern their work.

To comply with Regulation 7 of The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, companies need to demonstrate that they have access to competent health & safety advice.

We provide this service via our retained customer service contract, where for a nominal monthly fee, our customers retain the right to quote our company name (interaction between us and our client dependant) as their retained health & safety advisers. This service is accompanied by certification and CVs of key personnel from Lighthouse Safety staff. We will also assist in the writing of health and safety policies, pre qualification questionnaires and safety scheme accreditation applications. We are a friendly, knowledgable team so why not give us a call to see how we can help!”

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