When starting your own business, there are many things that you need to consider. From where your business premises will be to the staff and positions you will hire first, these are all necessary steps but you must also consider your health and safety procedures. It isn’t just good practice to have the correct health and safety strategies in place, but it is also the law, so you should be clear on the procedures before you start trading.
Before you even open your doors, it is vital that you highlight any potential hazards which may be the cause of injury within the workplace. There needs to be clearly outlined hazards and a thorough risk assessment undertaken by a licensed health and safety officer and, should there be any hazards in the workplace, the appropriate controls should be put into place to ensure that people are aware of any potential risks. Other controls, such as access only areas, visibility paint or tape for steps or dips in the floor and personal protective equipment (PPE) will all help to protect your employees.
Making sure that you are properly protected by insurance is extremely important when it comes to covering and protecting your business. Should an injury or accident occur in the workplace which comes as the result of someone’s job, then the right insurance will protect your business. This should be set up and completed before any work is undertaken on your premises.
Creating and implementing written policies can often be the most effective way of making sure that your employees and visitors are aware of the health and safety procedures in your workplace. The policies you create should include the commitment that you, as the business, intends to make in order to manage health and safety and the responsibilities of both your employees and the business and what the actions will be in order to alleviate any health and safety risks. Any written policies which you use should be reviewed regularly to make sure they are kept up to date and are in line with current risk assessments.
Compliance regulations are put in place to protect your employees, your premises and visitors from any potential hazards. Making sure that your business is legally compliant will not just protect your business physically, but it will also ensure that you won’t face potential fines or even prosecution.
Before opening your doors, make sure that your business is registered with the right authorities and that either you or a trained professional who works for you, has a complete understanding of the laws and regulations which apply to your business.
Speak To Employees
Whilst it is required for you to follow all rules and regulations surrounding health and safety, another thing which is important is regularly chatting to your employees about their health and safety. If your workplace is a place that requires PPE, your employees may need a better fit, size or style to feel comfortable at work, but is something that can only be discussed in person.
You could offer private healthcare as a workplace bonus or incentive so that employees get access to health services as and when they need them. Keeping your employee’s health at the forefront of your mind should be a constant, not only to look after them but reduce sick days and motivation levels. Have regular discussions about diet and wellbeing, perhaps suggesting digestive health supplements or magnesium tablets if they have specific ailments or health issues. All employees should also have access to clean drinking water at all times, to keep them hydrated and well.