Ten Simple Steps For Health and Safety For Your Business

This article will give you outline information on each of the ten steps you need to follow to ensure that your business is safe and legal in terms of health and safety regulation in the UK.

Step 1. Register your Business

Some businesses must, by law, be registered with the Health and Safety Executive or the local authority. However, most businesses do not need to register.

Step 2. Take Out Employer’s Liability Compulsory Insurance

As the title suggests, this insurance is compulsory for almost all employers and it covers you against claims from employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their work.

Step 3. Appoint a Competent Person

Every business must do this – it is a legal requirement on all businesses. The law says you must appoint a competent person to help you to meet your health and safety duties. This does not have to be an external consultant and in many companies it is the owner or manager who fulfils this role.

Step 4. Write Your Health and Safety Policy

All businesses are required to have a Health and Safety Policy, and for those with five or more employees this must be in writing. However, even for smaller companies, a written policy is an excellent aid to the business. Your health and safety policy sets out the arrangements you have put in place for managing health and safety in your business. It is a unique document that says who does what, when and how.

Step 5. Assess the Risks

This is again compulsory for all businesses. Without properly assessing the risks in your business you run the risk of invalidating your Employer’s Liability Insurance and leaving yourself open to prosecution. To do this you must decide what could harm people and what precautions to take. This is your risk assessment. You must act on the findings of your risk assessment, by putting sensible controls in place to prevent accidents and ill health and making sure they are followed.

Step 6. Provide Basic Welfare Facilities

This is a very basic requirement, but again one which is enforceable in law. You must provide a safe and healthy environment for all of your employees. This includes toilets, washing facilities and drinking water, and appropriate lighting and temperature.

Step 7. Provide Free Health and Safety Training and Supervision

Everyone who works for you, including self-employed people, needs to know how to work safely and without risks to health and so you need to train them and supervise their work. You also need to keep records of this training and provide refresher training periodically to ensure that everyone remains safe in the workplace.

Step 8. Consult Your Workers

Consultation means discussing health and safety with your workers or their representatives to allow them to raise concerns and influence decisions. Minutes should be kept of these discussions and any agreed actions must be implemented. Again, this is a legal requirement and hence keeping minutes of these meetings provides evidence of your compliance.

Step 9. Display the Health and Safety Law Poster

Possibly the easiest step to complete and yet often overlooked. This is required by law. The poster includes basic health and safety information and lets people know who is responsible for health and safety in your workplace. Or instead, you can give workers a leaflet.

Step 10. Understand the RIDDOR Reporting Procedures

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR), require you to report work-related accidents, diseases and near-miss incidents. Make sure you know how and when to report, even if you never need to.

Finally – You Must Stay up to Date

This is not a step but a way of conducting your business.You must stay up to date on the changes in legislation and health and safety issues that are pertinent to your business.

Can Your Project or Business Afford Not to Have a Health and Safety Policy and Plan?

If you have a business then having a Health and Safety Policy is essential. You must protect your employees at all times and it is important that you identify to them the standards and expectations of your business when they are employed there.

Whether your business is a construction business or a childcare centre, it does not matter. It is important that you identify the health and safety aspects of working within your company and communicate these expectations to your employees.

Typically, you would have a policy that is included in your procedure manual. This would outline the issues that are important when it comes to health and safety in your workplace. In addition to this a plan is also recommended and is referred to within the policy. These documents are important when it comes to the safety of your employees.

This usually is a detailed document that lists all of the expectations of your employees. It would include items such as the Aim of the policy, the policy itself, the definition of health and safety and accountabilities for members of the organisation.

These documents should be distributed to all areas of the organisation and should be updated on a regular basis. It is also important that the document is not only distributed but also used.

This means implementing the document within your organisation and ensuring people actually follow the guidelines within it. There is no point in implementing these types of policies if they are kept in the cupboard and never read.

These documents are critical to the smooth running and success of your business and it is important that you implement them on a daily basis. You need to make your staff aware of the documents and let them know how to get hold of them should they need to access them.

Creating this type of document can certainly take a considerable amount of time. A great way to save time is to purchase a template and use the template as a base for your own policy.

A template will have a lot of the information already in it and all you will need to do is modify it to suit your business. This is a really great way to save time and money and certainly is a solution if you need to generate a policy quickly for your business.

Get hold of a template today and save significant time and effort.

If you are looking for a health and safety policy template then click the following link.

The Importance of a Clear Health and Safety Policy

A health and safety policy will set down in writing who exactly is responsible for what, when and how with regards to health and safety issues within your organisation. It should contain the aims of the business, as well as measurable objectives. It should be written in clear and simple language so that it can be understood by everyone. In the UK, it is compulsory to have a written health and safety policy if you have five or more employees.

When writing a health and safety policy, a comprehensive risk assessment should be performed to identify potential hazards that may be encountered. Although it is impossible to identify and take precautions against every potential hazard, the risk assessment should highlight the most likely and the most serious. This will enable the company to implement working practices and control procedures, as well as providing any necessary safety equipment, to prevent an accident occurring rather then reacting after it has already taken place. In a particularly large workplace, a number of health and safety policies may be needed that cover different areas, rather than putting them all into one long document which is so lengthy that it means nobody will even attempt to read it all.

The health and safety policy ensures that adequate resources can be allocated to where they are needed in order to manage health and safety effectively. It also should flag up where additional resources (e.g. spending, personnel etc) are required.

Putting in place measures to prevent accidents in the workplace is of benefit to all concerned. For an individual, it reduces the chance of them suffering a painful or disfiguring injury or illness, or even death. From an employer’s point of view, there are financial implications should accidents occur in the workplace. They may be fined by regulators for failing to comply with legislation, or sued for compensation by the person(s) who suffered in the accident. Having employees off work through illness or injury leads to a reduction in output and ultimately, lost revenue. If the company wants to maintain the existing level of output, it will either have to get remaining employees to work even harder (which may damage morale), or hire in temporary workers to cover for those absent. It is likely that more than one person may be needed to produce the same as the existing worker, as the temporary one will take time to get up-to-speed with the role and what is required. There may also be additional costs incurred to recruit them too.

In order to be effective, a health and safety policy must be regularly reviewed and amended to incorporate changes in the activities of the business. An out of date policy that talks about activities or equipment that is no longer being used is of no use to anyone, and in certain cases may even make the consequences of an accident worse if it causes confusion or leaves tasks to people who have left the business, meaning that they don’t get done (e.g. fire sweeping during an emergency evacuation).