Health and Safety is an area which no business can afford to overlook. Although complying with standards for Health and Safety can add to your workload, this is an essential part of any business plan.
Over the last 35 years, improvements in Health and Safety have been proven without a doubt to have dramatically reduced the number of workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. It is your legal and moral right as a business to ensure that you are complying with Health and Safety standards and are providing a risk-free working environment for your staff and visitors.
Meeting standards for Health and Safety does not have to place an unnecessary burden on your business. Although the health and Safety legislations and laws can be complex not all of them will apply to your individual business and field of work. A professional Health and Safety expert will be able to guide you through the standards for Health and Safety and help you understand what applies to your business and how you can best comply.
Start planning your health and safety policy as soon as possible. Don’t forget that directors and managers can be held legally responsible if failures in Health and Safety are picked up by the Health and Safety Executive. To help you get started here are just three easy steps to help you meet standards for Health and Safety.
1. Identify and Assess Hazards and Risks
The first thing you need to do is identify the potential hazards and risks in your working activities. This could include the working environment itself and any equipment or materials that are used. Consider the severity of the hazard to try and understand the potential risk. Some hazards may only result in minor injuries (such as a slip on a wet floor) but others could result in serious illness or injury or even death (such as accidents with industrial machinery). Focus on those high risk hazards for your policy.
Health and Safety Courses Which include Risk Assessment
- IOSH Managing Safely
- SMSTS – Site Management Safety Training Scheme
- SSSTS – Site Supervisor Safety Training Scheme
- NEBOSH General Certificate
- NEBOSH Fire Certificate
- NEBOSH Construction Certificate
2. Put Measures in Place
Once you have identified the hazards you then need to decide what measures and precautions can be put in place to minimise these and reduce the risk. This can include verbal and written instructions and guidelines, improved working practices, adjustments to the working environment, further training for staff and more.
It can be a good idea to outsource your health and safety training to specialist companies offering a range of health and safety courses tailored to individual businesses and sectors.
3. Write Your Health and Safety Policy
Once you have assessed hazards and risks and decided on the measures and precautions required you need to combine this information into a written health and safety policy. This will need to show how you intend to eliminate or control hazards and also how exactly you will implement, monitor and manage your health and safety measures. This policy must be made available to all directors, managers and employees.
On-going monitoring is important when it comes to meeting standards for health and safety. By monitoring the measures that you put in place you can see where your business is doing well and what areas you may need to improve for the future.
Failure to meet health and safety standards can be disastrous for businesses. Injuries sustained at work costs businesses thousands of pounds every year in terms of compensation claims and sick leave absences. Not only are you failing to protect your employees and visitors but you could be putting your business at risk legally and financially.