It's an employer's job to ensure the safety of their employees and anyone who visits their premises. So ensuring you have a health and safety policy in place is vital.
Our health and safety experts have put together some of their top health and safety tips to help you manage your workplace health and safety.
If you need immediate support or advice, get in touch with one of our health and safety consultants at 0800 124 4996.
Ensure you keep written records
Typically, if you run a small business (with less than five employees) you may not need to have a written health and safety policy. But you should keep written records of the health and safety arrangements for both you and your employees to refer back to.
This can include keeping written records of your risk assessments, and what safety measures have been put into place. You should also consider keeping an accident book, this will detail any accident and near misses that happen on your premises.
By keeping a written record, you are able to provide evidence of the measures you've put into place to protect your employees if an accident or incident happens.
Take into consideration what your team thinks
You should speak to your teams when you are looking at health and safety policies, measures you're putting into place, and risks. Speaking to them will help you create a safer workplace for everyone, and will help to boost productivity.
You should remember that your employees complete their tasks every day and will be able to easily tell you when an issue or risk arises. They may also be able to advise on measures you can put in place to make the task safer.
Not only this but it will help you to create a positive and collaborative work environment.
Maintain equipment and property
You should ensure that all of your buildings and equipment is well maintained. This will help to identify when any issues arise and fix them before they become a larger and more dangerous risk.
You could create a maintenance timetable that ensures you regularly check the premises. In this timetable, you should also make a note of when all electronic appliances are checked.
Ensure the first aid box is well-stocked
There's nothing worse than needing a plaster and reaching for the first aid box and finding it empty. You should ensure that your first aid box is stocked and checked regularly, this will help to ensure you aren't using out-of-date products. There should not be any medication stored in your first aid box.
Not limited to this, you may need to ensure you have staff on site who are trained in first aid. If this is the case, you should also ensure that their training remains up to date.
Look at your health and safety risks
When you first start looking at your business's health and safety, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Creating a risk assessment is a great place to start, this will help you identify areas of your business that need safety measures put into place or where your employees need additional support in mitigating risks.
When you are putting together your risk assessment, try and be realistic with what you are including. Make sure to include everything that could potentially be a hazard or a risk to your team and what measures you're putting into place to mitigate the risks.
Don't underestimate the importance of health and safety
It's important that you don't underestimate your health and safety. You should ensure that all your employees understand the health and safety policies and what procedures they should be following.
You could, for example, put this information into a health and safety handbook and carry out health and safety training with your employees.
Ensure your workplace is clean and tidy
One of the biggest tips we can give any business is to ensure that your workplaces are kept clean and tidy.
This is by far one of the easiest ways of reducing accidents and incidents in the workplace. Ensuring you have a good housekeeping policy will help reduce slips, trips and falls, and ensure that your workplace is free from clutter and hazards.
Not only will this clean your workstation, but it will also uncover any damages that need to be fixed.
Identify vulnerable workers
As an employer, you need to be aware of your team members who are considered to be vulnerable workers.
Depending on your workers you can carry out risk assessments on them, for example, if you have a pregnant worker, you can carry out a pregnancy risk assessment or you can carry out a long-term sickness risk assessment, depending on their conditions.
These will identify tasks that they shouldn't be carrying out such as heavy lifting if they are pregnant.
Take stress into consideration
Your health and safety policies shouldn't be limited to just physical risks, but you should consider their mental wellbeing. If your workers start to become stressed and experience burnout you could see a dip in their productivity.
To help combat stress, you can complete a stress risk assessment and put measures into place to stop your team from becoming overwhelmed and reduce their need to take time off.
Ensure you complete regular fire drills
While carrying out fire drills may feel inconvenient, they are essential. Any fire drills you carry out are an opportunity for your new and existing employees to familiarise themselves with your fire safety policy.
This will benefit you in the long run, as if you do need to evacuate your building it will both be quick and efficient.
Get expert advice
Croner has a team of award-winning HR consultants who are specialists in their field. We've been helping businesses for over 80 years and our advice line is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Why not speak to a Croner expert on 0800 124 4996.
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