As an employer, you have certain legal obligations when it comes to health and safety- but there are some common sense ones, too. There are big benefits to keeping your employees as safe as possible in the workplace. This guide looks at:
The more often your employees are off sick, the more money and time your business loses - so it makes sense to keep them as safe and healthy as possible. Making sure equipment is safely stored away or out of harm's reach saves it being damaged too. And sticking to regulations avoids you being sued by employees or prosecuted and fined by health and safety inspectors.
You must carry out a risk assessment of your workplace, and if you have five or more employees, write it down. Likewise with your health and safety policy - write it down for five or more. You need to have plans in case of fire, and you must record all accidents in an accident book. Your workplace must be reasonably safe, with precautions taken against hazards wherever possible, and hygienic.
Beyond your legal obligations, there are some common sense precautions you can take. Get into the habit of putting away expensive and dangerous equipment. Don't leave cables lying around. Keep the kitchen clean and put out the rubbish regularly. Don't let employees get overstressed or overtired - they are more likely to have accidents and get ill. Generally, keep your workplace tidy and clean regularly.
Health and safety isn't just a case of carrying out a risk assessment, taking precautions then forgetting about it. Carry out regular mini-assessments on your workplace, and run checks on all potentially hazardous equipment regularly. If you get new equipment make sure that the person using it knows what they're doing and that it's safe. Encourage employees to point out hazards and make suggestions.
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