Health and safety management doesn’t have to be complicated, costly or time-consuming. For many businesses, a simple series of practical tasks that protect people from harm and the continued growth of the company, is all that’s needed.
The owner is responsible for the health and safety of their business and in general, health and safety laws apply to all businesses. Health and safety laws are designed to protect the business owner, the employees and the public from any workplace dangers.
The basics of health and safety management
Any health and safety management programme should be proportionate and appropriate to the size and nature of the business. For smaller, low-risk businesses the steps needed are relatively straightforward and if they have less than five employees they don’t have to have a written risk assessment or health and safety policy. The following are good starting points for effective health and safety management;
Appoint a competent person
A competent person, or people (there can be more than one) will help ensure that all health and safety legal duties are met.
Create a health and safety policy
A health and safety policy details the company approach to health and safety and how you (as an employer) will manage health and safety in your business.
Write a Risk Assessment and control the risks
A Risk Assessment will identify and document hazards and risks in the workplace. Once documented they can be routinely assessed, reviewed and controlled.
Provide information and training
All members of staff need to know how to work safely, without risk to their health. Employers must ensure staff have clear health and safety information and adequate, appropriate training.
Report and record all accidents and incidents
Documenting incidents helps identify patterns of accidents and injuries, helping assess and manage workplace risks. Detailed records can be useful when dealing with an insurance claim.