How To Handle Health And Safety

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Written by Michael Foote, founder of Quote Goat, has over 13 years experience working in the finance, insurance and currency sectors.

When we go to work, we expect to be safe. It’s a fundamental right, and something many of us take for granted. But, when the tables are turned, that thing you never thought much about should become a priority. As an employer, you have a legal obligation to provide a safe environment. Even if that obligation weren’t there, human decency dictates you should do everything possible to look after people in your care.

If you haven’t thought much about safety in the workplace, it’s past time you started. If the law and human decency argument haven’t convinced you, consider that your staff work best when happy. And, they’ll be happiest when they feel safe. This makes sense from a business standpoint, too.

But, where do you start? For one, you need to get on top of health and safety. The trouble is, that varies depending on your workplace. For example, in a factory with heavy machinery, you’d need to train staff how to use said machinery. You’d also need to ensure there are no faults. If chemicals are involved, training is also a huge factor. Plus, you would need to find a colour coding storage system to ensure employees know which chemicals are where.

But, what if you work in say, the retail sector? Health and safety becomes less clear cut. The risks won’t jump out, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Keeping walkways clear is one thing to consider. You’ll also need to stay on top of maintenance to ensure no injuries occur through negligence.

The good news is, some rules are the same no matter where you work. Access, for example, is always important. Colleagues need safe and easy access to their workspace. This means keeping doorways clear of obstructions at all times. It also means providing adequate security measures. Depending on the area in which you operate, you made need to hire security services to guard the door. This will ensure colleagues feel safe on arrival. It’ll also mean you’ll have someone to hand should you need them. Of course, it’s not always necessary to take such an extreme step. Though, every business should be fitted with CCTV to at least gain some control over security.

So far, so easy. But, what would happen if you chose to cut a few corners along the way? For one, it would cost you big time. You may think you can save money on training, or some other step, but it’ll soon come back to bite you. Here are a few of the ways you could pay for your negligence:

  • Reduced employee morale
  • Legal action taken against you
  • Sick pay while colleagues are off with injury
  • Cost of someone to cover injured colleague

When you look at it like that, it seems silly not just to take care of the issue in the first place. This is a small expense compared to what you would face should anything happen. Which choice do you think would be best for business?


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