As a business owner, you are responsible for ensuring your employees’ well-being. Their health and safety should be one of your top priorities, as it will impact your company’s bottom line.
Accidents and injuries in the workplace have long-term consequences, which can be costly, damaging your hard-earned reputation in just a matter of minutes.
There’s little margin for error in business and so many regulations you must comply with, so you can easily get lost in this confusing process.
This is why we’re here – in this guide, we will discuss the most common workplace hazards and how to prevent them and implement a health and safety policy that protects your employees – and your business – from unwanted situations. Let’s dive in!
Meeting Health And Safety Standards: What Is It All About?
Occupational safety and health is the duty of any employer who must show effective leadership and commitment to establishing an OSH management system.
In other words, it is about implementing procedures and regulations to prevent workplace accidents.
They should include details about how you plan to mitigate possible risks while also outlining how and when these procedures will be implemented.
A written health and safety policy is a legal requirement if your company has five or more employees. Once you update it, you must share it with your team, so they can know how to protect themselves.
But besides creating a health and safety policy, there are other ways to look after your employees.
For instance, ehs solutions can keep your team healthy and productive, empowering workers to conduct observations, carry out inspections and take corrective actions whenever necessary.
Leveraging ehs software will result in considerable time and cost savings and profit increase while providing many other benefits, such as reducing human error, boosting ethics and improving data security by decreasing the risk of a data breach.
Common Hazards To Look Out For
Anything that can put workers’ lives at risk can be accounted for as a potential hazard.
A key step to identifying these risks is to conduct a risk assessment, which is a review of your company’s processes. It is intended to spot hazards and their impact and who they may affect.
By doing this, you ensure your business will thrive in the long run without facing significant disruptions.
Here are the most common workplace hazards to consider:
Working At Height
This is a significant hazard which can cause serious injuries unless health and safety procedures are implemented.
To prevent it, you should ensure that employees use protective clothing and that the equipment is well-maintained and stable.
Slips And Trips
Wet floors can lead to slips and trips, causing injuries; the good news is that this hazard can be eliminated easily and cost-effectively.
For instance, regular maintenance and adding signs to warn employees of trip hazards can both be very useful.
Fires are preventable, especially if you take the right precautions. However, in order to implement relevant procedures, you must first understand what substances can lead to an explosion.
The injuries caused by electricity can sometimes be fatal, so it’s vital to take precautions when using electrical equipment or working near it.
This involves checking the cables’ condition and turning off the equipment when not in use.
Steps To Create A Health And Safety Policy
When creating a health and safety policy, you want to make it as clear and easy to understand as possible to avoid misunderstanding.
Here’s what an effective health and safety policy should include:
Statement Of Intent
This should cover your company’s goals and how you plan to protect employees’ health and clearly explain the processes to ensure workers that your business is compliant with health and safety legislation.
This section should comprise the names of the employees who have to fulfil different health and safety duties and other details about them.
Suppose you hire Health and Safety Coordinators for your business; it’s essential to name them so that other team members know who they should go to when they have concerns about health and safety.
Arrangements should describe how you’ll implement what you outlined in the Statement of Intent.
In other words, it should discuss the measures you have implemented to mitigate risks in more detail. It can also include information about accident reporting, fire drills, safety training, and equipment inductions.
Who Must Comply With The Policy
A health and safety policy is generally created to ensure the well-being of employees; however, it’s essential also to consider those who don’t directly work at your company, such as visitors, contractors, maintenance workers, etc.
Hence, take the time to identify everyone affected by the policy, and if you have different processes for employees and those outside your company, address them in this section.
Access To Professional Advice
To build a safe work environment, it’s vital to hire a health and safety professional; they have the necessary experience and qualifications, and thus, they can help ensure that your health and safety policy is aligned with legal regulations.
Once your policy is in place, you want to communicate it to your employees as clearly as possible.
They should understand their responsibilities and the actions they can take to reduce risks, so make sure you don’t leave room for interpretation.
Safeguard Your Business And Employees By Taking Action Today
As a business owner, you must put the right measures in place to prevent potential accidents and look after your employees’ well-being.
This is also a way to protect your company, as it will benefit you in the long run by ensuring your operations run smoothly.