There are many ways that you can incorporate safety practices into the workplace. While these are vital, you will also need to ensure you have created a safe building for your employees to work in, which will provide a strong foundation of safety in the workplace. If you feel your building needs upgrading to keep it safe, or you are moving to new premises, here are some top tips to help you create a high-level foundation of safety.
One of the most important things you should consider is the safety of the building structure. You can do this by checking the bricks and stonework for any cracks, gaps in door frames and window frames, raised flooring, bending walls, and any other factors that make you doubt the structure of the premises are in good order. The structural integrity of the building you work in is vital to the safety of your employees. The integrity can be compromised if the building is old, was built with poor quality materials and labour, or has been struck by bad weather conditions or a natural disaster.
Check your business premises for any hazards that might be obstructing a clear walkway for employees and customers. You should also look out for anything that is broken, loose or not in the right place. It is your duty as an employer to ensure that all hazards are removed or fixed. You should conduct a regular audit of your building premise to ensure there are no hazards that will put your employees or customers at risk. You should endeavour to fix anything immediately if you find it is broken.
You should ensure that your building, including all rooms and corridors, is adequately lit up. You should have as much natural light as possible, and fixtures in place for when the light is not sufficient, or if employees and customers are on the premises out of hours. Lighting is important to ensure people can see where they are going and are not at risk of injury. Emergency lighting should also be in place, in case of a power outage or an incident. Corridors and emergency exits should be visible at all times.
Handrails around business premises are important to provide a protective barrier to reduce the risk of accidents. Safety handrails should be placed in high access areas, and places which carry a higher risk of injury, for example, stairways. In a lot of places, handrails are a mandatory safety feature.
You should have the relevant safety measures and tools in place to create a fire-safe environment. These will help prevent a fire and help your staff and customers act quickly in the unfortunate event of a fire. For example, you will need to carry out regular fire risk assessments, place fire alarms and extinguishers around the building, and ensure there are adequate fire exits. You can also go above and beyond by installing features around your building such as fire resistant glass.
If you own a business, you are responsible for supplying safe business premises. Follow these top tips to ensure you uphold your duty of care to your employees and customers.