Britain is one of the safest countries for workers in the world. There is a comprehensive set of Health and Safety laws and regulations in place that strive to protect workers from accidents and illnesses in the workplace.
- Complying with British safety standards can be a big responsibility for employers but the benefits are clear.
- Over the last 35 years improvements in Health and Safety standards in the UK has dramatically decreased instances of serious injury, illness and fatalities in a wide selection of industries.
- In this time the number of fatalities at work has fallen by as much as 82%.
- Working days lost through work-related illness or injury has also dropped significantly and in the last decade alone has fallen by 28%.
- These eye-opening figures show just how important British safety standards now are and how critical it is that businesses comply with relevant Health and Safety legislation.
What are British Safety Standards?
British safety standards cover a vast range of rules, regulations, laws and legislations. This can be a little overwhelming for employers. However not all of the many safety standards will apply to your individual business. A trained Health and Safety Officer will be able to advise which safety standards are applicable and how your business can comply with them.
Health and Safety doesn’t have to be complicated. Once you have a good policy in place it will be much easier for you to comply with the laws and maintain a safe and well-managed workplace for all your employees.
Your Health and Safety Policy
Setting up an effective Health and Safety policy is paramount for businesses of all sizes. This will help to ensure you are providing a safe and low risk working environment for all your employees. Also it is important to remember that if your business fails to comply with British safety standards then the directors and managers could be held legally responsible. This means for the protection of you and your employees you need to put your Health and Safety policy at the top of your priorities.
- If you have five or more employees in your business you will need to have a written Health and Safety policy.
- This does not have to cost you a lot of time and expense though. There are many excellent expert services available online that can help you create an effective policy for your business.
- The start of any Health and Safety policy will be the risk assessment. This is where you walk around your workplace and identify any potential hazards or risks that may cause harm to workers or visitors.
- Consider each hazard and the chance of risk associated with it (high or low). Concentrate your policy on those risks you deem to be more serious.
- Also ask employees what they consider to be risks or hazards around the workplace. As they work in the environment they may be able to point out risks you may not have noticed.
- Once you have identified risks and hazards you then need to put in place measures to control and limit them.
- For example you may identify a fall hazard on some steps. Controlling this hazard may involve improving the lighting in this area, fitting a handrail and highlighting each step with high visibility strips.
- Record all of your findings and measures in a written risk assessment. Make this easily available to your staff and your managers.
- If you feel that you need more help with creating your risk assessment meeting British safety standards then call in a professional to assist.
Improvements in British Safety Standards have helped to slash the number of fatalities and injuries in the workplace. Ensure you are complying with Health and Safety legislation now to protect your workforce and business.