Running a business can be challenging, as you work to ensure each department is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible, and due to time constraints it’s common that smaller issues can sometimes go unnoticed. One thing which cannot be overlooked however, is your compliance within health and safety laws.
These laws apply to all businesses, both large and small, and are in place to protect you as an employer and anyone on your premises. Taking a proactive approach to health and safety means your business will be covered should an accident occur, whilst greatly reducing the chance that they will.
For David Rowland, head of marketing at Engage EHS, any business person worth their salt will have an in-depth knowledge of health and safety policy and practice. This is because health and safety is not only an end in itself, it is a means to an end towards a more efficient business that has an improved bottom line and greater brand loyalty amongst consumers.
When running a business not only do you have to comply within the law, you are also responsible for the safety of your employees and customers. Here we have outlined some of the top health and safety procedures you should be taking in to consideration for your business.
It is important to have delegated health and safety officers in the workplace who have received a high level of training. These officers should be on hand throughout the duration of your business hours, and as such this may mean hiring or delegating this responsibility to more than one person.
As a business owner you will undoubtedly be busy, so delegating this responsibility will give it enough time and attention.
Risk assessments and control
Conducting regular risk assessments will highlight any potential hazards within the workplace. It is then your responsibility to control these hazards accordingly to ensure accidents and injuries do not occur. This can include anything from displaying the correct safety signs to implementing key storage to reduce the likelihood of anyone accessing unauthorised areas or equipment.
Conducting regular risk assessments will bring to your attention any potential hazards as and when they arise. It is especially important that risk assessments are completed both before and after any maintenance or building work within your business’ premises
Having clearly written health and safety policies in place gives your members of staff and customers good insight in to your procedures. These health and safety procedures should be checked and updated regularly with staff alerted of any changes made. You should work alongside your health and safety officer when putting together these policies to ensure all aspects of your health and safety are covered.
For any business with employees and visitors, you should have adequate insurance in place. Business liability insurance can help to cover your company in cases of compensation claims should an accident or injury occur on the premises. Your liability insurance should be implemented prior to your business opening.
Before you undertake any work, or implement your health and safety procedures it’s vital you understand the laws surrounding this topic to ensure compliance. Registering with the correct authorities for your sector, along with having up to date procedures, maintenance checks and staff training could all be implicit in ensuring that you remain within the law.
Managing health and safety within your business does not have to be complex, and by ensuring correct procedures and policies are in place to ensure the safety of your employees, customers and visitors will help to keep your business within the law.