For new businesses, Health and Safety can certainly appear as a minefield – where just researching the different legal requirements, policies, and insurances can leave you questioning whether you have got everything you need in place.
The one key thing to remember here, is that Health and Safety policies exist for the protection of both you, the business owner, and your employees, and don’t need to be overly complex to be effective.
That said, here’s 5 top - but simple - things all business owners should consider:
Most business owners will agree that their employees are their most important asset. So when implementing new Health and Safety policies, talk to your team and understand the things they are concerned about, or feel need addressing in the workplace. Not only will they feel more valuable, it will also pave the way for positive communication moving forwards – whether they need to discuss Health and Safety or other matters related to their employment.
Having a designated First Aider and First Aid kit may seem a little O.T.T. particularly if there’s only 5 of you in the office and the biggest injury threat is changing the ink in the printer. But work like the Scouts and ‘be prepared’ - that way when something out of the ordinary happens, be it a team member is hurt or unwell, both you and your designated First Aider will know exactly what to do.
When starting a business, cutting corners with costs can seem extremely appealing particularly when cash flow is tight – but in the long term it will do you no favours. The cheap office chair will offer no back support for long periods of sitting, let alone adjust to different heights, just like the lower cost protective clothing will only work in 50% of situations. Purchasing the correct workplace equipment should be a fundamental part of your Health and Safety policy, as ultimately a wrong or ineffective item or product can be a risk factor in itself.
With Health and Safety policies come additional administration tasks, such as selecting the right insurance cover for the protection of you and your business. From Public Liability to Employers Insurance, knowing which insurances are most relevant or understanding the benefits of different insurance covers can sometimes be a difficult decision. Take your time when talking to insurance brokers, explain your business set up, the industry you work in and the level of protection you require.
Once you have drawn up your Health and Safety policy, make sure you communicate it effectively to your team members. From using different signage to point out potential risks or allergies, to creating your very own policy infographic for the staff room – ensuring your staff are aware and on board with Health and Safety being key to reducing risk.
From accredited NEBOSH courses to Health and Safety Awareness and First Aid Refreshers, e-Careers boasts a number of low cost Health and Safety courses that will benefit both you and your team members. To find out more please visit our Workplace Safety course pages or contact one of our Training Experts on 0203 198 7700.
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