As a UK business owner, there are many rules and regulations that you need to adhere to under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, as well as further rules pertaining to the nature of your business and the risk it poses to employees and the general public.
As a minimum, you must ensure your employees and any customers or visitors to your premises or business location are always safe and that risks are eliminated or minimised as much as possible.
This post looks at some ways you can improve health and safety in the workplace and ensure a healthier and safer place to work.
Have a Health and Safety Policy
In the first instance, you need to make sure you have a comprehensive health and safety policy for everyone to follow. You can bring a health and safety officer on board, or you can enact the policy yourself. A good health and safety policy must cover points that all employees must adhere to to keep the workplace safe. This can include points such as the following;
- Each employees responsibility
- How to clean up mops and spills
- What to do in the event of a fire
- Emergency evacuation policies
- A health and safety point of contact
- How to minimise risks, slips, trips and falls
It’s a good idea to know exactly what type of safety equipment you need to run your business. This can be things as minor as floor warning triangles for wet floors and spills in retail stores and step stools for reaching stock stored at height, to hi-vis vests, steel toe boots, goggles and safety gloves as a minimum for construction sites and using Chem Resist storage for holding chemicals on-site to eliminate spillage or contamination issues.
Pay attention to what your employees need to work safely, and then ensure you purchase the equipment and safety paraphernalia that will serve them well.
Health and Safety Training
It isn’t always enough to expect people to know how to work to health and safety standards or simply read through booklets you might hand out. Always assume that these things won’t happen and carry out health and safety training to be confident that everyone is aware of their personal responsibilities and the company’s legal requirements regarding health and safety. Include what risks could be present, what can happen if regulations are adhered to, and how they can prevent damage, injury and harm to themselves and others.
Have Appropriate Equipment
Your employees can’t carry out their job role safely if they don’t have the right equipment to work with. You must ensure they are not compromising standards using subpar or inappropriate equipment and supplies. The more suitable the tools and equipment they have to work with, the easier it will be to do their job and avoid any additional risks and complications. Whether this is tools, machinery, cleaning equipment, first aid kits on site, signage to warn of issues and more, you need to supply everything required for employees to work safely and for visitors or customers to access the premises without coming to harm.
Health and safety in the workplace is one of those rings that all employees are responsible for maintaining to avoid accidents, injury, sickness and damage to everyone who comes into contact with the business.