The health and safety of a business should be at the forefront of the business model, but it can become a complex maze if you aren’t sure what you’re looking for.
Here is an overview of everything you need to know about health and safety compliance.
Health and Safety policy
You need to begin by writing out a policy for your employees and others to let them know that your business is aware and acting on health and safety. On the government health and safety website, you can find templates for policies and risk assessments to help get you started.
Health and safety laws are there to protect your employees, as well as you as a business owner. To learn where the points of risk are within your business, you or a health and safety officer will have to carry out a risk assessment. A risk assessment is where you consider areas that could cause harm to people, and put in steps to minimise the risk of this, whether that’s through better signage or improving accessibility with a wheelchair ramp.
Make the changes
As an employer it is up to you to get any work done to make the working environment a safer place and comply with health and safety compliance. If you can clearly see there is a risk, but you aren’t sure how to make it safer, certain websites offer the solution for you. Many companies, for example, supply castor wheels and have solutions for improving safety whether your application is for airports, construction, fire departments, harbours, hospitals or in a shopping mall.
Once you have established risks and sensible steps to minimise them, you need to inform employees in a way they understand, how they can be safe while at work. You will also need to make sure it’s clear who is responsible when staff need to alert someone to a risk, and provide (free of charge) any protective equipment and clothing they may need.
Ensure you’re covered
You need to ensure your insurance company is aware of the associated risks that come with your business. According to the government website, ‘as long as you have taken reasonable steps to prevent accidents or harm to your employees (and the injury or illness was caused after 1 October 2013), you shouldn’t have to pay compensation.’ However, you will need employers’ liability insurance in case the court does find you liable and you do end up having to pay compensation towards the employees’ accident.