Health and safety in the workplace isn’t simply advice for you to think about. It is a legal requirement to ensure you provide a safe and healthy environment for your employees and anyone who visits, such as clients, customers, contractors, etc. The fine for breaching health and safety regulations as set out by the Government can have no upper limit, meaning if you are found in a court of law to have willfully neglected to ensure the safety of any persons on your premise or working for your company, the fine will fit the severity of the issue.
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With this in mind, paying attention to how you protect those associated with your business should be at the forefront of your mind, and you need to provide the following at a very minimum.
It doesn’t matter what sector you are working in, be it the food industry, construction, hazardous materials etc., there will be a strict criteria for you to follow to ensure everyone is safe at all times, and this is where training comes into play for full compliance. While it is ultimately your responsibility, employees and visitors can’t keep themselves safe if they are unaware of how to do so. Carrying out efficient ongoing training prior to new employees starting, or entering an area where you need to take extra precautions, is vital to ensure everyone knows what is expected of them and how to stay at all times. This needs to be explicitly tailored to your sector; for example, retail workers will need to be trained in aspects of lifting boxes and different items to avoid injury and know how to keep floors clean, tidy and dry to reduce slips, trips and falls.
Storage of pretty much everything you need to run your business needs to be appropriate and secure, and fit for purpose. Pay attention to your site or premise and look at how people access your products or services and ensure you put in appropriate storage solutions to help you ensure everything and everyone is safe from harm at all times. The more hazardous the materials, the more attention you need to pay to how you store substances and materials. For example, Chem Resist can work with you to find the most suitable solutions for storing and transferring chemicals for increased safety.
PPE or personal protective equipment is required for a great many industries for different reasons, from using sterile gloves and coverings in the medical sector, such as doctors or hospitals, to hard hats and goggles on construction sites. Each business will require a different type of PPE to ensure employees are safe and protected. PPE protects people from coming into contact with anything that can put them at risk of harm or illness and ensures they are safe to carry out their job role; failing to provide such equipment can lead to illness, injury or death. On average, fines for breaching HSE, while potentially unlimited, are £150,000. Is this a sum you can readily afford to pay alongside possible jail time and a loss of reputation within your sector? If not, then you need to be sourcing high-quality supplies to conform to regulations set out by the Government.
Health and safety in the workplace needs to be something you and your employees take seriously each and every day, and you practise and execute until it becomes second nature. By ensuring everyone is safe, you can limit the risk to persons and provide a working environment that people can be confident joining.