Many business owners worry about the financial implications of a personal injury claim, but many forget that a personal injury claim could also affect your brand’s reputation, which can have a detrimental effect on sales, client and partner relationships, and recruitment efforts.
By implementing the correct regulations and procedures, employers can protect both employees and business.
Your responsibility as an employer
According to the law, employers must uphold certain responsibilities including:
- Performing regular health and safety risk assessments
- Consulting your employees on their health and safety concerns
- Providing safety information and training to employees
- Ensuring the correct facilities are installed throughout the workplace, including access equipment for those with disabilities
- Implementing first aid procedures and providing adequate training and equipment
- Introducing an official reporting system for employees to record accidents and work-related diseases
- Displaying correct health and safety law material
- Keeping up to date with any legal or regulatory changes
Staying on top of your responsibilities as an employer may seem a daunting task. With detailed planning and help from your employees you can maintain a safe working environment.
Keeping the workplace safe
The law does not require that you remove all risks; however, it does ask that you have adequate health and safety measures in place in order to keep your staff safe. This can be adhered to by performing regular risk assessments.
Carrying out a risk assessment:
1. Begin by walking around your workplace to identify potential hazards. Focus on accidents that might happen and equipment that has the potential to cause harm.
2. Next, you must consider the risk of a person coming to harm from the hazard and how serious that harm could be.
3. Once identified it is essential that the appropriate measures are put into place immediately in order to minimise each risk.
4. All hazards and safety measures must then be noted and kept for reference purposes.
All employees must be made aware of these procedures, which can be set out in regular training sessions. Once they have received this safety advice ensure all members of staff sign a document to say they have received and understood the information you have provided them with.
Protecting your employees
First aid procedures must be robust and every single employee should understand where they can receive help if they experience an accident at work. There must always be a trained first aider in the building and it is important that your first aid box is regularly checked to ensure that you have all the appropriate supplies, in the instance that an accident does happen.
By law, business owners are required to have an accident book on the premises to note the details of all accidents that happen. Make sure that once an accident has been logged, the appropriate person is informed so they can perform a risk assessment. As an added precaution, once this has been completed note any extra measures that have been implemented in the accident book and circulate these changes among staff members.
When starting a new business, health and safety can sometimes seem like another point on a long list of things to organise, but with the right planning and organisation, any business can successfully implement a health and safety system which will protect their employees as well as their business.
Kate Russell is the manager of Russell HR Consulting.