Health and safety is important for both employers and employees. There is a legal obligation to maintain good health and safety in the workplace and also, good health and safety helps you to retain staff in a happy, productive workforce.
1. Get trained in health and safety.
Training your staff in health and safety ensures that they understand how best to work safely and help protect the health of themselves and their colleagues. It may also be worth consulting an external health and safety expert because they may highlight something you’ve overlooked and bring a fresh perspective to assess your workplace.
2. Implement a health and safety policy.
Ensure that you have an in-depth health and safety policy. Staff should be made aware of the policy and encouraged to read it. Health and safety procedures relevant to external visitors should also be displayed on-site.
3. Keep an accident record book.
All accidents should be reported and logged in an accident book. It is a useful reference tool and where accidents or near misses are recorded because it helps to identify hazards and develop better precautions for the future.
4. Assess the risks.
The best way to prevent accidents is to carry out risk assessments. Risk assessments should cover both day-to-day working procedures and emergency procedures, as well as workstations and work areas.
5. Keep the workplace clean, tidy and well maintained.
Untidy, dirty and poorly maintained work areas lead to accidents and ill health. These can be prevented by providing appropriate signage, cleaning equipment and resources (such as cable tidies). You should also complete walk arounds of the workplace regularly to identify maintenance issues and ensure that these are fixed.
6. Keep a first aid kit.
In the event of accidents and injuries, you need to maintain a well-stocked first aid kit. Check your first aid kit often to ensure that you aren’t running low on any items and that any supplies beyond their expiry date are discarded and replaced.
7. Run safety drills.
By running regular safety drills, you can give everyone the opportunity to practice their roles in the chance of the real event happening. One example of this is a fire drill but you can also run drills for other scenarios where you want to practice your emergency procedures.
8. Provide protective equipment.
Where needed, PPE (personal protective equipment) should be supplied to workers. Training should be given so that staff know why they are provided with this equipment and how it helps to keep them safe.
9. Be mindful of differing needs.
Health and safety is as much an individual consideration as it is a workplace one. Create a health and safety policy that meets the needs of vulnerable workers and implement extra or different risk assessments where necessary.
10. Listen to others.
The people who work in a particular role or in a specific area of the workplace are likely to be the most knowledgeable about what the potential health and safety risks of that role or area are. Ask for their valuable input when developing health and safety policy and procedures.
The golden rule with health and safety is clarity and communication. You need to establish clear health and safety policy and train staff so that they understand what procedures they should follow and why. By fostering honest, open communication you can help ensure your workplace maintains a good standard of health and safety.