How to manage your health and safety
The introduction of health and safety dates back to 1802 with the Factory Act, the UK’s first law protecting the welfare of people at work. This act prohibited pauper apprentices from night work and working hours were reduced to 12 hours a day.
During the 1800s factory workers were at high risk of severe injury due to the operation of machinery without safeguards and clumsiness linked with long hours and fatigue. Thankfully, we have come a long way since then but health and safety measures are still crucial and the safety and welfare of employees should be top of the agenda.
Why health and safety matters
Over one million people are injured at work each year and over 200 people are killed in accidents. As an employer you have a duty of care to your employees; it’s your responsibility to ensure that the office is in ship shape to prevent injuries.
Introducing a strict health and safety policy will ensure that employees are not injured or made ill whilst carrying out their daily duties. You will also meet the legal duty to protect the safety of your employees.
Health and safety issues in the workplace
Hazards in the workplace can vary depending on the nature of the job at hand. Supermarkets are constantly faced with the risk of customers slipping over; from spillages in aisle 12 to slippery floors at the entrance caused by wet weather conditions there are many risks to be identified.
High risk working environments have many other factors to consider such as keeping employees working at a height safe and ensuring that members of staff handling heavy loads have access to equipment such as hoists to support them.
You’d be surprised, but many accidents occur in an office environment; stray computer cables, hot cups of tea and clutter are all factors that can cause injury so it’s important to be prepared with a first aid kit.
Once the areas of risk have been established, measures should be put in place to prevent accidents from occurring, keeping both employees and members of the public safe.
How to manage your health and safety
Managing health and safety is much easier than you think. Just follow these steps to ensure that you are compliant:
- Appoint a competent member of staff to manage health and safety
- Write a health and safety policy outlining your objectives such as implementing emergency evacuation procedures and the actions you will take to ensure this objective is met
- Control the risks by carrying out a risk assessment. You are not expected to remove the hazards identified but you need to put appropriate measures in place to control them and prevent harm.
- Converse with employees to make sure that they are aware of the health and safety policy. Allow them to raise their concerns and influence important decisions made about health and safety.
- Provide training in health and safety so that staff members know how to work safely, reducing the risk of injury.
- To ensure that employees receive immediate attention if they injure themselves or fall ill, you must have trained first aiders and a first aid kit. First aid can save lives and prevent injuries from getting worse.
- You must display the health and safety law poster that outlines important legislation and provides workers with a straight forward list of the health and safety requirements.
- Get employers liability insurance for your business to help pay towards any compensation an employee receives for an injury or illness incurred at work.
So there you have it – a breakdown of how to manage your health and safety. If you are interested in training your staff in health and safety contact our customer service team on 0845 071 0820 for information regarding our training services.