It wasn’t that long ago that health and safety wasn’t a consideration for businesses, let alone enforced. Hazardous machinery, lack of ventilation, cramped conditions and poor processes were the norm for most workers. Thankfully times have changed but serve as a reminder of why health and safety should not be overlooked.
Not only does a workplace health and safety policy protect the wellbeing of your business’s workers, it also safeguards you, the employer, against the costly risk of negligence.
Whether you operate a small business or employ thousands of employees, it is vital that you have strict compliance measures firmly in place to protect your business and safeguard the physical and mental wellbeing of your staff. In this blog, we’ll be taking you through our guide to health and safety compliance.
Workplace inspections help to prevent incidents, illnesses and injuries. By identifying hazards and hazardous processes you can apply appropriate preventative measures or alternative processes to avoid a future incident from occurring.
High-risk work environments that use heavy-duty machinery and potentially hazardous materials are required to carry out regular in-depth reviews, often monthly. Low-risk workplaces such as modern offices are only required to review their premises on a yearly basis unless a substantial change is made to them within that time.
Not only will it keep your staff safe, but scheduling regular internal inspections will also prepare your business for an official health and safety inspection which can happen at any time. We also recommend fixing even minor issues such as a wonky light fixture as soon as possible so they do not become a serious hazard. To get the most out of your inspections, we recommend that you refer to past reports to see what issues were raised in the past and how they have been dealt with. We can provide necessary checklists to record all of the statutory inspections you are required to make.
Once you’ve identified the hazards in your workplace, you’ll need to draft a full health and safety policy. The policy should include the following:
Health and safety policies can be lengthy and employees and contractors cannot be expected to memorise every element of it. Which is why you should make it readily available for your staff to refer to. If you’re not sure where to begin with producing a policy, give our experts a call on our health and safety advice line.
Once your health and safety policy is in place, regular training is crucial to ensure business operations remain legal and compliant. Not only does this apply to high-risk workplaces like garages and construction sites, it also applies to offices.
Although the average white-collar worker probably doesn’t need a certificate in operating a forklift to carry out their job, they still need to have a clear idea of your company’s safety procedures in case of an emergency.
Depending on the topic, classroom training may be necessary on a semi-annual or annual basis. But training doesn’t need to be time-consuming or expensive – we also recommend undertaking online health and safety training to help keep your business safe and compliant. Online training is cost-effective, can be completed at your employee’s own pace and can be repeated to ensure they retain the information.
Health and safety rules and regulations are updated on a regular basis, so no matter how thorough your policy is, you need to monitor for developments within your industry to ensure the information you’re working from isn’t outdated or inaccurate. We recommend following applicable government bodies in the news, their websites and on social media. Subscribing to podcasts and keeping an eye on blogs is also a great way to stay up to date.
At FRS we offer a wide range of training courses for a multitude of health and safety needs, from first-aid training to fire safety in the workplace. We also offer mental health first aid training courses for individuals and businesses. You can browse our website or get in touch for more information.