As well as feeling valued and making a useful contribution, any staff that you take on within your business also need to know that they’re in safe hands. In other words, an employer who takes safety seriously and has well-thought-out plans in place to protect them and to care for them, if the worst was ever to happen. So, as a company owner, what should you be thinking about as you develop your operations? Here are four must-dos.
Have a clear policy
Most companies need to have a clear health and safety policy in place which governs the way they work and serves as a point of reference for management and other staff. It should cover how to assess and minimize risks and how to deal with any situations which may arise including accidents, injuries or deaths. Among other things, it also needs to set out training and induction requirements, the identification of elected representatives to oversee the policy and reporting procedures.
Once written and signed-off, your policy should not just gather dust on a shelf. It should be an active document that is referred to and adapted when the needs arise.
Provide the right equipment
Regardless of whether you just have a few members of staff in an office, or you have a much larger workforce in a factory production setting, having the right – and safe – equipment for the job is crucial. Everything from computers to machinery needs to be checked to ensure they are safe and in good working order. Any reports suggesting the opposite need to be acted upon immediately.
Providing the right equipment also covers things like safety clothing, including hard-toe boots, safety glasses and helmets – if they’re necessary in the line of work you’re employing staff to carry out.
You also need to ensure the environment your staff are working in is safe. A factory or workshop area should be well-lit for example. Click here to have a look at some of the latest lighting equipment available, which are also energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
Provide the right training
As your policy document sets out, all staff need to be adequately trained in health and safety to carry out their roles and duties safely. This can be delivered through on the job training, workshops, videos and presentations. You will also want to identify representatives who lead on this and monitor arrangements, along with staff who can provide first-aid if ever necessary.
All staff need to have an awareness of overall rules and regulations, but they also need to know specifics relating to their role. If they operate machinery, for example, they need to have specific training relating to this, which is your duty to provide. If an accident were to occur and it is because your staff have not been properly trained, you may be liable.
None of your staff should feel afraid of reporting any accidents or incidents in the workplace. Reporting needs to be actively encouraged. Not only so individuals involved can get the right help and support, but also so anything that’s wrong can be put right – to try and minimize the risks of it happening again. Reporting paperwork also needs to be completed.