Regardless of the size of an organisation or company, the employers are faced with many issues. However, health and safety should be a key priority.
Health and safety law dictates that every company has a duty of care to their employees; they are required to implement the necessary measures and policies to keep them safe and they are responsible for any instances where they are not.
So, to ensure sufficient health and safety in the workplace, here is what you need to do to protect your employees and your business!
Health & Safety ‘Partner’
Always appoint someone to help you with health and safety issues. After all, two eyes (and heads) are better than one! Just make sure that this person has sufficient health and safety training and experience so that they can help you more efficiently. If you don’t have anyone with that knowledge within the company, seek a competent Health and Safety Consultant who can work alongside you and advise you on what you need in place.
Health & Safety Policy
By law, if your company has more than 5 employees, you need to have a written health and safety policy in place that clearly states procedures and employee roles. Consider all the areas that you need to regulate and use the European ‘Six Pack’ to create a detailed policy. Once written, you need to make sure that it is reviewed and updated regularly, as well as making sure that it is implemented and enforced! You can do this by putting the policy somewhere where employees can easily access it.
A risk assessment is essential to the health and safety of your business as if you don’t know what potential hazards you have in your environment, how can you take the necessary steps to minimise or eliminate them? While you’re examining your business and identifying all of the potential risks and hazards, make sure to include your employees. As they work in this environment on a daily basis, they can best advise you on what may need to change. With your assessment and their insight, you can then record a detailed risk assessment and enforce any additional measures that you may need. Just remember to do this at least once a year to keep it up-to-date.
Making sure that your employees are aware of the importance of health and safety is essential to your strategy and if they are familiar with your policy that is in place, you can be sure that it will be much easier to implement. In some instances, if a job poses a risk of potential injury, staff will need a certain degree of health and safety training. To ensure that your staff know how to conduct themselves safely in the workplace, you’ll need to provide initial information, reinforce this knowledge with instruction and training, and then follow each session with feedback to ensure that the training you’re providing is useful.
Always remember to record any training that has been given so that you can plan for refresher courses and your induction for new employees.
Talk Regularly with Your Employees
As well as inspecting your workplace regularly to ensure you have all the equipment and tools that you need and that they are well maintained, you should also be checking in regularly with your employees. Make sure to chat with your staff and encourage them to make suggestions on how you can improve the health and safety of the workplace, you might be surprised what they can come up with that you may have overlooked.
One of the most important things, as well as having a health and safety policy in place, is ensuring that everything is documented and filed sufficiently. Make sure to keep records of every risk assessment, inspection, incident investigation, first aid treatment, training activity and health and safety policy that you can. That way, you can make sure that you’re always up-to-date with your policies and the whole process will become that much easier to manage.
Safety shouldn’t be an after-thought in your business as your greatest resource is your employees. Make sure they are protected with these health and safety necessities, and you can be sure that your business will be too.
Need More Help?
ActiveHSE provides many publications and resources on Health and Safety, including policy log books and checklists that can be tailored to your business. If you need any advice or guidance on which ones you need, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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