Make no mistake; health and safety standards in Britain have improved considerably in recent times. Thanks to the implementation of increasingly stringent EU laws and directives, workplaces throughout the UK have benefitted from considerable safeguards over the course of the last two decades.
The non-profit industry group SafetyOn is also reinforcing the importance of health and safety compliance, specifically in niche areas such as the onshore wind sector. This is a constant reminder to firms to prioritise the safety of their employees at all times, regardless of the market in which they operate.
But how exactly should you go about ensuring health and safety in the workplace? Here are a few ideas to keep in mind:
1. Perform Full and Detailed Risk Assessments at Work
Whilst there are general steps that you can take to create a safe workplace, it’s also important to identify specific risks that are pertinent to your business.
This type of focused and detailed risk assessment can help you to prioritise the biggest risks facing your employees, whilst is also creates clear areas that you need to improve on.
If own a factory that’s packed full of heavy-duty machinery, for example, you’ll need to ensure that all equipment is well-maintained and operating to its full capacity. At the same time, you should inspect your various workplace processes, in a bid to maximise efficiency and minimise the risk of injury.
If you hold stock, you should also ensure that this is stored in a safe and organised manner at all times. After all, cluttered warehouses can pose a serious risk to employee health, in addition to creating significant issues of efficiency and compliance.
2. Make Training a Key Watchword
Even once you’ve identified risks and taken steps to manage these, it’s important to create a long-term strategy that safeguards the future of your business and employees.
Regular and focused training is central to this endeavour, as this creates an educated workforce that can uphold your businesses best practices and assume responsibility for their own safety at work
This is particularly relevant if your staff handle heavy-duty machinery or the type of high-power tools sold at SGS. By providing comprehensive training and written instructions for employees to follow at all times (along with finely-tuned workplace procedures), staff members can operate safely at all times without compromising on their productivity.
You should also regularly review employee performance and provide updated training where necessary, as this will plug any gaps in knowledge on the workforce.
3. Investigate Accidents and Maintain Records
There’s another side to health and safety too, as the failure to protect employees adequately can lead to a series of lawsuits and potentially cost your business thousands.
To negate this risk and create a compliant business, you should investigate all on-site accidents thoroughly and conduct an incident investigation, even in instances where a serious injury didn’t occur.
This can also help to prevent accidents in the future, as investigations can highlight key trends and particular areas of risk in the workplace.
You should also keep comprehensive records of all accidents and any treatments that were provided, as this provides a crucial paper trail and evidence that instances have been handled in the correct manner.