For any startup, there is a lot of different areas of understanding to get to grips with, and each of these areas tends to come with a million sub-categories. Health and safety is no different in this respect, and the sheer volume of must know’s can make it seem like a complicated area of business management, but it doesn’t have to be.
That is why we have compiled a checklist for you to help you through the process and make all matters of health and safety simple, cost-effective and anything but time-consuming.
Who Is Going To Help You?
This is a question that is so often overlooked, but as an employer, you must appoint a competent person that will ensure you meet the legal requirements. These means someone who has the necessary skills, experience, and expertise to manage every aspect. It could be that you have a person, or a selection of people, within your employment to handle this, however, it could be that you bring in external help. The choice is yours.
Writing A Policy
Your health and safety policy is not only a way of showing how dedicated you are to the care of your employees, but it will state who is in charge of what, when and how. Make sure this policy is detailed, distributed, read, understood and regularly updated.
Control The Risks
This is your responsibility, and a big one too. In short, you are managing the health and safety of your business, so you need to reduce any area of risk. This means regularly updating your risk assessment file, which will detail any potential risks and whether you are taking reasonable steps to protect people from harm. This means fire extinguisher testing, rehearsing drills, maintaining machinery properly, teaching people how to work responsibly, electrical safety understanding and regular training for more specific roles that come with dangers attached, such as working with chemicals.
You should consult your employees as often as possible, not only to inform them of health and safety protocol but to listen to any concerns they may have over health and safety. Your staff is your best source of risk identification, so make sure you listen to them and react to any worries they may have over certain aspects of their working environments.
Your employees need to know how to work in a safe manner and so you are required to supply them with all the relevant information, training and instructions they need in order to operate in a safe and secure manner. At the very least, this should highlight any risks they may face in their role, how to deal with those risks safely and how to follow the company’s emergency procedures.
The importance of first aid cannot be stressed enough, and you must ensure you have trained personnel, equipment, and arrangements in place to ensure all first aid needs are met. You are responsible for making sure your staff can receive immediate and appropriate attention should they ever need it. This could be an illness, injury or accident, and so you must have a fully-stocked first aid kit, an appointed individual and detailed information on hand to help all those in need.