Do you remember the old style health and safety law posters for offices, that were replaced with the new 2009 version? At the time when the new posters came into force, businesses were given a five year period during which all of the previous posters and leaflets needed to be replaced.

That five year period has now passed, with April 5th 2014 being the last day on which the old posters were legally allowed to be displayed. Any of the old health and safety posters that you did still have up should now have been taken down and replaced with the new version.

If you’ve not replaced yours yet, you’re actually contravening the Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations (HSIER). Every employer has a legal duty to display the new poster somewhere prominent and easily visible within the workplace, and is also required to provide each and every employee with a copy of the accompanying leaflet.

There’s no denying that the old posters were dull and not at all eyecatching, and this is part of the reason for the change. The redesign includes a smarter layout along with photos, as well as posters that are available in a range of formats to make them more accessible. However, there are also important content changes that reflect changes in health and safety law, which is why it is so important to ensure that you are displaying the most up to date version in your workplace.

It may not seem like an important job in the grand scheme of things, but keeping within the limits of the law is vital for any business. Once the new posters have taken pride of place in your workplace, you’ll actually be saving yourself time and effort too. Whereas the old posters required employers to handwrite details of the name and address of the enforcing authority, along with the address of the Employment Medical Advisory Service (EMAS) for that premises, the new posters simply state that employees should visit the Health and Safety Executive website to find out the relevant addresses for them. Of course, you can still include this information, but it is not a legal requirement.

For more information about the new health and safety posters, visit the Health and Safety Executive website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/faqs/lawposter.htm, where you’ll find all of the help and advice that you need.