Health & Safety
Recent years have seen a huge increase in Health & Safety law and the threat of punitive penalties. There is now therefore a considerable burden of responsibility on employers. It is not only employees and their families who suffer when things go wrong at work.
Every year, businesses count the cost. This might be in fines or compensation payments. It may also be in increased insurance premiums, repair bills and lost production. As the saying goes — “If you think Health & Safety is expensive, try having an accident!” But it’s not only a legal responsibility; it is also a moral and financial responsibility.
Here are some of the things that you must do:
- Have a written, up-to-date Health & Safety Policy. This should also set out what you intend to do and who is going to do it;
- Carry out a Risk Assessment of your premises and all your employees’ work. Record the findings and act on the results;
- Carry out a Fire Risk Assessment;
- Make a list of all the hazardous substances that you use. Try to get rid of as many as possible, or replace them with less hazardous substances. assess the rest and introduce controls to reduce the risk;
- Look at your Manual Handling tasks. Identify those that pose a risk of injury and see if you can find ways to get rid of or reduce that risk;
- Consult, inform, train and supervise your employees.
There are many things to consider but these are the main ones. Proper Risk Assessments are fundamental to good Health & Safety practice. Furthermore sensible management of risk will do more than anything else to improve safety and reduce accidents in your business!
You probably know quite a lot already and can do many of the required tasks yourself. If not, then get outside help.
Remember! Act now to get control — don’t react tomorrow to an accident!