As a responsible business owner, safety must be at the forefront of everything you do. Whether you’re in the construction industry or operate from an office, creating a safe environment will not only keep your workforce safe, but it will also give your employees a space they want to come to every day.
But how can we ensure our business environments are safe and that we’re doing everything we can to protect those who work for us?
Make sure you have a good health and safety policy
A health and safety policy is paramount for every business, regardless of the industry you’re in. This is a plan that outlines how you’re going to manage health and safety in your business. The more complex your operation, the more detailed your policy should be.
To start, audit your current policy and evaluate where the biggest risks are in your business. This could be to do with the machinery you operate or simple aspects such as slips and trips. Your policy should clearly state who is responsible for what, when and how. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is available to give you further guidance.
Ensure the working environment is suitable
It’s important to make sure your employees are working in a safe environment too. This element doesn’t have to be complicated, but there are basic things you’ll need to consider. These include welfare factors such as toilets and hand basics, with soap and towels or a hand-dryer, drinking water, a place to store clothing and somewhere to change if special clothing needs to be worn, and somewhere to rest and eat meals.
You should also include considerations around health such as offering good ventilation and a reasonable working temperature, as well as safety considerations such as windows that can be opened, keeping floors free from obstruction and properly maintaining work equipment. This may mean installing additional storage for hand tools if you’re in a warehouse, or making sure wires are neatly stored away if you work in an office.
Provide training and correct PPE equipment
Providing regular training can help mitigate a number of health and safety risks, as can making sure your employees are provided with the correct protective equipment for their job. Training around health and safety shouldn’t just be a tick box exercise, it should be revisited and updated on a number of occasions to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Keep discussions around health and safety open to all
It’s important to keep the floor open when it comes to health and safety. If employees have any concerns or thoughts on how things could be improved, they should be welcomed and points should be taken on board and actioned if necessary.
Health and safety in your business might seem like a chore. But getting your processes and procedures right, might just stop the next accident or injury.