Gas safety checks are a legal requirement for employers under the Health and Safety at Work Act, but figures are showing that 34% of small businesses said they ‘find it hard to devote time to fully understand the safety requirements’.
British Gas has estimated that over half a million small business are at risk because they are unaware of the safety requirement, and that it is also a legal requirement. There is also confusion as to when the safety checks need to take place. 16% of people asked thought that it is only needed to be completed once every 2 years, 8% said once every 3 – 5 years and 7% said less often than every 5 years.
The Gas safety check needs to be completed once a year
Businesses are thinking that their Landlords have sole responsibility for this to be completed. Failing to comply is putting employers at risk and could also leave a business open to prosecution. Employment law states that ‘employers must arrange for the regular routine inspections of any gas appliances by suitably qualified people. It’s also a requirement for businesses to be inspected by their local councils at regular intervals. If businesses fail to have their gas appliances checked this could result in their Public Liability Insurance becoming void’.
We, at The Insurance Octopus are committed to providing excellent customer service. We can tailor your quotes to include professional indemnity, employers and public liability insurance as well as business specific insurance when you speak to one of our consultants. Check that you have the right certificates so not to void your business insurance, having a Gas Safety Certificate is a requirement that needs to be completed by law. Failing to do so will result in your Landlords insurance and public liability insurance becoming void.
Research also found that nearly half (44%) of respondents were finding information on compliance and safety regulations confusing and 31% would welcome more guidance on the safety requirements that their business or businesses have to comply with.
Liz Robinson, British Gas engineer, said: “For businesses, their main priority in the current climate is to ensure the smooth running of their organisation. This means that other issues, such as checking whether they have a safe boiler can fall by the wayside”.
With the lack of awareness of the health and safety checks required, there is a wider problem of businesses not having a backup plan in place, especially important in the run up to winter when breakdowns are more common. In the event of a boiler or heating system breaking down, 50% of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) said that ‘they would opt to deal with a breakdown as and when it occurred, as opposed to having a backup plan in place’. Approximately, only one third of businesses (33%) actually have a plan in place. With a lack of back-up plans in place, businesses are very aware of the implications that problems with their boiler or gas appliances would have on their business. Two fifths have quoted that (41%) if a breakdown did occur it would affect their business.
Figures provided via YouGov.