Whatever kind of business you run, there’s always going to be the danger of someone having an accident at work. Whether it’s a fall from a height, heavy lifting, dangerous machinery, working with display screen equipment, tripping over cables or any other type of hazard, staff will always find themselves at risk in some way. The main reason more people don’t suffer these accidents is because there are health and safety systems in place to prevent them, and even small firms can benefit from the advantages they bring.
Accidents at work usually happen because they haven’t been prevented, and accident rates in small businesses can actually be higher than in large organisations because they fail to implement the correct procedures to deal with them. Health and safety systems can combat this problem, as they provide policies and designate people who can deal with any issues that might occur. You should have a written health and safety policy statement which can organise staff, conduct risk assessments, monitor their performance and review your preventative measures.
Not only will these health and safety measures create a safe and secure environment for staff to work in, but it will also help you to comply with government legislation. In case of an emergency your risk control measures need to be adequate enough to stand up to the test, and you should also put in place any back up measures that might be needed. By informing, training and supervising employees in health and safety you are giving them the greatest chance of avoiding any unfortunate accidents in the workplace.
The law sets out certain health and safety targets requirements that all businesses need to comply with need to be achieved, giving you the benchmarks to work out whether your controls are up to standard. You need to report and record accidents, carry out and record Risk assessments, provide certain basic health and safety basic awareness training, workplace first aid training and have employers’ liability insurance. You also need to notify the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Local Authority of your existence. It’s imperative to follow these guidelines and maintain a safe working environment for everyone involved.
Although you are in charge of your business, a safe working environment cannot be obtained unless you work as a team. Employees and safety representatives need to be consulted, in order to build up a commitment to safety that will serve you well for years to come. Accidents can happen in any company, so taking the initiative and creating a proper health and safety system will help to prevent the majority of problems from occurring.
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