As an employer, you have a duty to ensure that your business complies by law with Health and Safety and that your workers are safe. This not only protects your employees from injuries, but also protects you should something go wrong.
Here are some basic things you can do to comply with Health and Safety. If you take reasonable steps to prevent accidents happening, then you and your workforce should be protected.
Appoint someone to oversee health and safety
As the owner of a business, you should appoint someone with the relevant knowledge and skills in health and safety practices. In a small, low risk business that person could be you. However, in bigger, more dangerous workplaces it is advisable to appoint someone with experience in this area.
Health and safety policies
Your health and safety policy is important to show employees and other people how you are going to protect staff and take steps to avoid accidents happening.
This policy does not need to be lengthy or complicated, and if you employ fewer than five employees you do not need to write your policy down.
Risk assessment and controlling risks
A risk assessment takes into account any things in your business which might cause harm to someone and takes reasonable steps to prevent these harms.
Risk assessment should identify reasonable measures you should take to protect employees. You should record your findings and relevant measures, but you do not need to record every single risk.
Again, if you have fewer than five employees you do not need to write down your risk assessment.
Speak to employees
By speaking to employees who actually do the job can help you to fully identify risks and give employees a change to raise any concerns they have.
You are also making staff aware that you care about their health and safety, and you are taking measures to protect them in the workplace.
Provide correct training and equipment
You should provide employees with the correct training for all tasks they are undertaking, as well as providing equipment to help them with their job, or to protect them from dangers.
Equipment should be well maintained, in good condition and suitable for the job at hand. Safety equipment should provide the correct protection (e.g. earplugs that block out the correct amount of noise in loud environments.).
Not all accidents can be avoided, and many people are injured in accidents at work every year. Last year the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported that 142 people were sadly killed in an accident at work, and a further 78,000 other injuries were reported.
If you have sustained serious injuries in an accident at work, and the relevant health and safety procedures have not been carried out, you may be able to claim compensation for your losses. Solicitors such as Freeclaim, who specialise in accidents at work and serious injuries, can help you claim the compensation you deserve, as well as help you with early treatment and support to get your life back on track, and get you back to work as soon as possible.