Health and safety in the office isn’t just good sense. It’s a legal requirement. As an employer, you are responsible for every worker and customer on your property. If you run a small shop, the safety of your customers is in your hands. The same goes for the average office space. You might think that your workplace isn’t particularly dangerous. But, trust us, things can go wrong at any time!
If an accident occurs on your watch, you’re liable to pay the damages or compensation to the injured party. You could quickly find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit. That’s the last thing that any small business owner needs. In this post, we’ll give you a brief introduction to health and safety in the workplace. Whether you run a small office, a shop, a factory or a warehouse, take note. This applies to you.
We always tell business owners that safety starts and ends with communication. It’s crucial that you communicate the dangers and hazards of the workplace to your employees. More importantly, it’s essential that they’re comfortable coming to you with problems. Let them know that your door is open to discussion and ideas when it comes to safety. Ask them whether they feel comfortable executing their jobs, and what could be improved. Keep an open dialogue flowing.
The heart of good health and safety is training. On your employees’ first day, make sure they are fully trained in general safety. This should include fire safety routes, general access, and basic training. If they are handling hazardous machinery, make sure they are fully trained by an expert. Don’t allow sole access unless a test is concluded, and you’re happy they are competent enough.
It’s easy to get complacent about safety issues, especially if you work in a simple office environment. However, it’s crucial that you perform regular safety inspections. Make sure cabling is safe and secure, and hazards are regularly reported. Sometimes, it helps to bring in a third-party safety audit team. A fresh perspective will often shine a light on dangerous areas. They’ll also advise the best response to deal with any safety problems that arise.
Embrace preventative measures
Make sure you actively implement safety measures around the workplace. It’s particularly important if there is dangerous machinery present. If you work with hazardous equipment, make sure you use a machine safety guard. If protective gloves, goggles, and clothing are required, provide them. Make sure you take active steps towards hazard prevention.
Behind all of this advice, there should be one coherent plan or safety strategy. It should detail all potential hazards, and include a contingency plan in every aspect. What happens if the fire alarm rings? Who is the dedicated first-aider? Who are hazards reported to? By documenting all this information, and distributing a plan, everyone is on the same page.
Remember, health and safety isn’t just good sense. It’s a legal requirement. Make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to prevent workplace injuries.