What you need to know about health and safety in the workplace
Business owners should be aware of health and safety laws and keep up to date with any changes. The Health and Safety at Work Act (HASAW or HSW) was introduced in 1974 and acts as the main piece of legislation signed by Parliament to protect employees in the workplace from injury or death.
Employees should also be aware that their employers have a duty of care — to help prevent them from facing any harm in the workplace.
What business owners need to know
Owning a business can be challenging, but here are some things that you need to know:
- All potential risks to the health and safety of employees should be documented within a risk assessment. For whoever is in direct contact with these potential risks, then the risk assessment should be coordinated with these employees.
- If anything should go wrong at work, your employees should know who is their first contact and who is responsible for their health and safety. This information should be given to employees in written form.
- At all times, employers and employees should work together to make sure that the working environment is kept safe and that risks are kept to a minimum.
- Employees should be provided with all of the health and safety training that they need, and this should be free of charge.
- Equipment, clothing and tools should be provided for employees free of charge. This is so they can do their job properly, efficiently and safely.
- In case anything goes wrong, employees should be provided with first aid kits or insurance to cover injuries or illnesses that occur at work.
As a go-to guide for all employees, we’ve collaborated with United Carlton — providers of innovative print management software — in order to ensure that your employees stay safe at work.
Make sure that your employees are provided with the correct training
Are your employees always demonstrating that they understand the health and safety training through their working practices? Throughout the course of the day, do they keep their practices consistent in relation to the training they were given? Furthermore, do employees use tools in the correct way? If trained correctly, then employees should look after materials provided for them, and should make sure that all work property is cared for.
Allow your staff to work together regularly and create a stronger workforce
Do employees work together in a way that ensures their own safety and their colleagues? Always check that employees are respectful and conscientious of each other before anything else, especially when working in mechanical or other high-risk jobs. No task in the workplace should be at the risk of another employee.
Come out from your office and socialise with your staff
With regard to the health and safety legislation that you’ve provided, are employees cooperating or rebelling against the standards set? During training sessions, are employees listening, or are they negligent of the legislation that has been relayed to them? If this is the case, then your communication channels need to be clearer, or you need to demonstrate to employees the importance of health and safety at work and how it can keep them and others safe in the workplace.
Allow your employees into your office and listen to their problems
By listening properly, you can address when employees have come to you as an employer with a problem relating to health and safety. This could be documented in written form to ensure that the same problems are not repeated in the future. Ensure that employees are encouraged to report incidents or potential incidents when they see them; equipment inadequacies, inadequate training, and an employee’s incompetency to follow procedure should all be reported by other employees.