Business Health and Safety 101
Health and safety is a subject that’s bound to make most managers and business owners groan. It requires a lot of work and it is easy to simply push out of the way for more pressing work. But workplace accidents and illness make up the vast amount of disputes between employers and employees. They’re a cost that, if repeated often or severely enough, can drain your funds right out. Here, we’ll look at how to tackle it like a boss. We’ll tell you how to make health and safety simple.
Create the best environment you can
By being a lot smarter with your office space, you can already reduce the risk of injury or illness. For instance, arranging the office space and lighting to improve visibility reduces the risk of slips, trips, and falls. Using ergonomic furniture in the office will reduce the problem of back pain. Designating areas around things like electrical appliances and fire risks where no clutter is allowed will make those areas much safer.
Make health & safety part of the job
Informing your employees is crucial. We’re not talking just about an arbitrary briefing on the ‘essentials’ of health and safety once a year. We’re talking about broaching it as a topic of every staff meeting. Identify any risk factors that have been spotted on the job and how well or how poorly people have navigated them. The more often you talk about something, the more it sinks in. As it stands, less than half the businesses interviewed in one study consult about health and safety with their team.
When in doubt, delegate
It’s easy to take your eyes off the ball when you’re having a busy day. Responsibilities get pushed to the side when something that seems a high priority comes rolling through. When that happens, you should have someone else who is ready to lead the charge for you. Assigning a safety officer is a good piece of advice for any industry. Someone who spends time in proper health and safety training courses will always have those lessons at the forefront of their mind. Delegating the specific duties of health and safety you need to them will take a lot off your plate.
Don’t keep your head in the sand
Most importantly, you need to actually know what the risks are. A lot of managers will explain health and safety in the abstract. You need to get specific with it. Carry out a risk assessment on the whole workplace to start identifying existing risks. With your safety office, come up with a plan to not only sort them immediately but to prevent them in future. Without a risk assessment, it’s easy to miss glaring problems until it’s too late.
If you treat health & safety as a team effort, it becomes a lot more manageable. Get your people trained, get them informed and get them noticing risks in the business. Having fifty pairs of eyes on it is a lot better than having just one.