No matter what type of business you run, the last thing you want is to hear an employee asking that fateful question: Do I have a work injury claim? The consequences to your business are a loss of reputation and a hit to your finances if it is later discovered health and safety were not high on your agenda.
To avoid any expensive compensation claims, you can improve health and safety standards by adhering to the following.
- Have policies in place. if you employ others, and if you have customers frequenting your premises, then you need to have a health and safety policy in place. You will be on thin ground, legally speaking, without one, so it is in your best interest to follow the templates provided here as you produce something. Ensure it is within easy access for others to read and make it a requirement for new members of your team to read it.
- Create risk-assessments. Wherever there is a risk of harm, ensure there is a risk assessment in place to reduce the chances of an accident or injury. Inspect each room of your business premises, check equipment and tools, and assess any activities that are going to take place, and risk assess them accordingly. Ensure team members have read them to guarantee a safer workplace.
- Have a communication procedure. When it comes to any part of your business, you need to avoid miscommunication. This is especially true when it comes to health and safety, as if one team member fails to report something that could potentially cause an accident, there are going to be consequences. Have a procedure in place to ensure there is a flow in communication, with an action plan to delegate the responsibility of dealing with any issues that have arisen.
- Invest in staff training. While there will be general health and safety courses available, as well as first-aid classes, you might also find something that specifically pertains to your business. Check online to find something near you. The more trained your team are, the less risk of an accident in your workplace. This is one part of your business that is essential. Without it, your employees could use the lack of training provided against you should they seek legal action.
- Maintain records. Should an accident occur, you need to keep a written record of what, where, and why it happened. Not only will this help you to implement changes to negate something happening again, but it is also necessary should a third-party need to investigate the matter.
- Talk to your team. Work together to create a safer working environment. If your staff have any concerns, you should listen to them and take action where appropriate. If you have concerns about any misuse of equipment or other unsafe behavior within your team, tell them, and refer to the policies and risk assessments you should have put in place when you are going over safety rules.
Health and safety needs to be a key part of your business when other people are involved, so it’s in your best interest to implement what we have said today if you haven’t already. Otherwise, your business may suffer as a result.