If you own a business, you are legally responsible for both health and safety of your employees, customers as well as anyone who is affected by your products or services. A good thing about this is that these requirements are quite straightforward and following them usually just means applying common sense. We have come up with 5 rules you should follow if you want to make sure everyone at your business is healthy and safe.
Obtain a License
Many new business owners don’t know that they have to register their business with either Health & Safety Executive (HSE) or their local authority. Still, this is an absolute must, especially if you use any hazardous materials such as asbestos or some kind of poison. If this is the case, it is necessary for you to obtain a license that allows you to operate with dangerous materials. If you’re not sure whether you require a license for materials you are using, make sure you contact the local authorities and get all the information you need.
Asses Health and Safety Risks
No matter how your premises are designed, they have to meet certain health and safety standards. That’s why it always important to carry out a risk assessment and try to identify the highest health and safety risks in your business. Things such as cables, spillages or loose tiles that might cause someone to slip, trip or fall should be taken care of as soon as possible. It’s also necessary to assess fire risks, exposure to hazardous substances and moving vehicles. If you have 5 or more employees, these assessments have to be written down.
Think About the Environment
Another thing your business can be found responsible for is environmental damage. If you don’t follow regulations about the environment, you might end up having to pay fines. That’s why it’s important to make sure that all the waste is suitably contained and stored safely. When hiring someone to carry out your waste disposal, you have to check if they are legally permitted to do so and if they do the job properly. You also have to be careful about the hazardous smokes or gases and noise.
Make Sure Employees are Healthy and Safe
It’s up to you as the business owner to make sure that all of your employees are healthy and safe. This means you have to provide them with clean toilets, soap, fresh drinking water, ventilation and sufficient space. Your premises must be kept clean and all the waste has to be taken out regularly. There should also be enough space so that employees and visitors can move around safely. It’s also a good idea to provide your employees with a rest area as well as adequate locker rooms.
Another thing you have to do is prepare for some serious incidents. You have to make sure there are first aid kits that are accessible to all of your employees. There’s also supposed to be a system for reporting any serious injuries that might happen. Having an evacuation diagram is also important as it may happen that both your employees and visitors have to leave the premises in case of fire or some other serious incident. It’s always a good idea to hire a person who will be in charge of organizing safety training for your employees and preparing them for situations like that.
It’s important to do all of these things before you open for business. In case you do that, all of your employees and visitors will be completely safe while at the premises of your business.
Also read: 5 Smart Tips for Improving Workplace Safety
About the Author
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to business and technology. In her free time she enjoys exploring new low cost advertising opportunities.