Health and safety laws apply to all business, whatever your industry.
As an employer, your highest priority is to make sure that your staff will be safe and healthy in the workplace, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated or time consuming process. Take a look at our top tips for compliant health and safety throughout your business.
Appointing the Right Person
There should be one person appointed for health and safety duties. They must be competent, meaning that they should have the right skills, knowledge and experience. If your business is relatively low risk, then you could appoint one of your employees to take up this role. If your business is of a higher risk activity, then the best option may be to seek external advice.
Write a Policy
This is an area where transparency of the policy is really important, so make sure that it is written down and kept somewhere easily accessible. It will let your staff know of your commitment to their health. It should say who does what, when and how.
You should review and update it on a regular basis.
Control the Risks
Think about what might cause harm to people in your workplace and consider what can be done to reduce the risk, as well as what you can do as employer to help reduce it. This is a risk assessment, and an important part of the health and safety in any workplace.
Record significant findings, but if the risk is an everyday one, or a very low level one, then there’s no need to record it. Keep it simple and make sure that you’re thinking about how to control them.
Firstly, walk around your workplace and look for any hazards that might cause harm, then think about how likely someone is to be harmed by the hazard, i.e. high risk or low risk, and how serious the harm might be. Consider how you’ll reduce the risk. For example, you may have staff working in a warehouse transporting pallets, your staff may be able to suggest something like lift tables from Handling Equipment Online to make their work easier.
Once you’ve done the risk assessment, and considered what you can do to reduce the risk, you can then implement the controls.
Tips for the Risk Assessment
Remember to consider everyone who might be harmed. For instance, some workers may have particular needs, some might be visitors, or members of the public.
Some activities carry high risks and they may be particular control measures set out by law, such as working at height or working with chemicals. It is your job to ensure that you are compliant.
Talk to Your Employees
It’s a good idea to ask your employees what they think the hazards are, because they are most likely to be aware of actual hazards that aren’t immediately obvious to you, and they may be able to think of good ideas of how to control them.
It’s a good idea to make sure the channels are open for communication between the staff and the health and safety officer, because you need to be sure that your staff are comfortable in raising any concerns before they become high risk hazards.
Training and Information
Everyone you employ needs to know how to work safely. Therefore, you should provide clear instructions and information as well as training, if necessary.
In particular, you should consider the needs of new recruits and people changing jobs or taking on new responsibilities.