Everyone knows about health and safety, but not all workplaces take on board the seriousness of following the regulations. Unfortunately, this is to the detriment of many small and medium businesses as they could face fines that are 142% higher than the yearly cost of compliance.
Failure to ensure health and safety compliance could end up costing companies more than just heavy fines. In the world of social media, a damaged reputation can be difficult to come back from. Combined with injured or discouraged employees (which could also temporarily reduce your workforce), the overall effect could be devastating.
To avoid all of this, it’s best (and more financially viable) to simply ensure the health and safety essentials have been observed. We’re going to explain some of the key aspects of health and safety at work that every employer should consider.
We know they’re not the most exciting thing in the world, but risk assessments play a crucial role in ensuring health and safety compliance in the workplace. The Health and Safety Executive states that employers, by law, must protect employees and others from harm.
This is done by:
Listing all hazards
Identifying who is at risk from the hazards
Take action to eliminate the hazard or control the risk
In a low-risk environment, this process will be very simple and straightforward. But for employees who work with dangerous chemicals or heavy machinery, more thorough and extensive risk assessments are required.
All equipment used by staff should be in good working condition. If you regularly use ladders to reach high shelves, then you need to be sure that all ladders are checked for structural security on a regular basis.
Our ladder example is quite tame compared to what could potentially go wrong in higher-risk workplaces. Ensuring that all team members are on the same level when it comes to understanding the risks of using faulty equipment is a good way to improve workplace safety.
A rushed job is never a good job, and when things are done in a hurry it probably means that health and safety considerations have gone out of the window. Good risk assessments should account for expected time scales to complete tasks, but employers must also account for individual circumstances.
Asking a junior member of staff who is new to their role to complete a task in the same time you’d expect an experienced employee to do it will place pressure on them, increasing the risk of an accident.
Employers should do what they can to encourage employees to work at a comfortable pace and complete tasks with care. Also, employees should feel able to point out if they’re feeling pressured to work too fast. Anything other than good time management with clear guidelines for all staff is asking for trouble.
Safe working environment
Ensuring staff are provided with adequate provisions is essential to creating a safe working environment. Access to clean restrooms, readily available drinking water, good indoor air quality and sufficient lighting are just some of the essentials that should be consistent in every workplace.
By doing this, you create an environment that your employees feel comfortable working in. Not only does this ensure compliance with health and safety, but it also increases productivity and boosts morale. Your team will feel more motivated to work knowing that their wellbeing has been taken care of.
Basic health and safety training
Whether it’s bringing new employees up to speed or refreshing everyone’s knowledge on a yearly basis, training is essential in any workplace. Teaching your team to spot hazards and react in the correct manner plays an integral role in keeping the workplace safe.
Have you got health and safety under control?
Since the lockdown restrictions have eased, businesses have opened their doors to both staff and the public once more. We hope that everyone is safe while at work, but unfortunately, we hear of too many cases where health and safety compliance wasn’t met.
Here at Tempus Facilities Management, we provide a range of property management services in Essex, London and across the country. This includes health and safety, which is something we take pride in taking responsibility for.
To find out more about how we can help, or to make sure that you’re complying with health and safety regulations, get in touch with our 24/7/365 Helpdesk team. We’re always happy to explain legislation in more detail and provide businesses with the support they need.