In the UK, the main legislation you’ll need to be aware of as a business owner is The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Managing health and safety is an integral part of managing your business, but that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated, costly or time-consuming.
As long as you have a risk assessment in place, you will help to minimalise and eliminate health and safety risks in the workplace.
Preparation of how you will manage health and safety is the key to successful health and safety management. This will help you determine your policy and enable you to easily implement it in the workplace.
The best approach to ensuring your business is protected is to carry out a risk assessment. Risk assessments allow you to identify work activities that generate risk, which can then be used to put measures in place to help control those risks.
An example of a risk in the workplace could be a leaking roof, which could lead to an employee or a client slipping over and injuring themselves. To help reduce the chances of this risk occurring, a caution sign could be put in place to make people aware of the situation. Not only do risk assessments help you to identify potential risks in the workplace, but they can also help with areas of uncertainty.
Once implemented, you should check to see that your risk assessments are working. You need to assess how well your risks are being controlled and that safe working procedures are being adhered to. An effective way of helping you to monitor performance is through a third-party audit, which enables you to view the overall risk status across your business and shows your improvements between audits.
Should an accident or incident occur, an investigation to identify the cause is a good way of checking that the systems and procedures in place are effective.
You need to review any accident or incident to help determine if your plans and procedures are robust enough or need to be updated and whether your workforce is competent.
Policies also become outdated, so it’s important to review documents and risk assessments if procedures in your business change. If you undertake audits within your organisation, take action to ensure any shortfalls identified are managed and resolved.