It’s important to look in detail at the safety of your business if your niche is a little outside of the norm. Factory workers for example or building and construction. You’ll need to be well versed with all the safety regulations and ensure that you are adhering to them 100%. This shouldn’t cost much money to do but it’s vital to have your finances in order in case any hidden costs should arise.
As a start up, it is unlikely that you will need a written health and safety policy (as this is only needed if you have five or more employees), but you should have a record made for any risks and identify any problems, health and safety regulations and how they will be handled should they occur. No matter what type of business you are looking after, health and safety policies are vital and they should have the following information:
- Prevent accidents
- Any work-related ill health (and looking at any work activities which may cause short term and long term issues)
- Provide all employees with adequate training to ensure they are fully competent when they start the job
- Discuss with them any health and safety conditions with your staff which may include giving detailed advice and even providing supervision.
- Fire procedures and any types of evacuation plans
Risk assessments are also very important. If you have a building company or anything hands on you may look at specialised Ranger lifting to minimise risk in the workplace. Every type of business will present a range of different risks arising from different scenarios and certain hazards which could hinder your employees, visitors or customers, so you need to ensure that you know exactly what could go wrong, even if that is something simple like keeping a hazard in your entrance for someone walking in to trip over. If they did happen to trip up, you would be liable and have to pay out for compensation if they broke their ankle.
You can’t completely eradicate all risks and hazards because a lot of them are just part and parcel of any new business, such as ladders, electrical equipment or even something such as a vacuum cleaner, so take the steps to ensure that the place is as safe as possible.
Offer training to staff and assist where possible
As a small business, it is very unlikely that you will need to delegate tasks and pass the management of health and safety onto others. If you don’t have the knowledge that you need, or if you are unable to handle any health and safety situations, you must seek training with a professional company and look at what other organisations can do to help you in these early phases of business. The additional cost may seem unnecessary at first but it will be vital to ensure that you are able to fulfil any obligations and that you will be able to keep everyone safe in the long run. Keep yourself prepared for all situations.