A new business’ guide to employee safety standards

When nurturing the growth of a new business, it can be easy to overlook the finer details. You’re likely to be thinking creatively about new sales strategies and logically about payroll systems, which is understandable. You will, however, have to consider the nitty-gritty (and more boring) details, such as employee safety standards and health and safety policies. Don’t worry though, as it’s not as complicated or laborious as it may seem. Continue reading to find out what all new businesses should think about when keeping their employees safe in the workplace.

Fire and evacuation

When it comes to fires and evacuations, you need to consider two main points: what are you doing to reduce the risk of a fire, and what would you do in the unfortunate event of an incident? By separating these points, it then allows you to create two solid plans that cover all angles. Effective roof ventilation, smoke detectors and regular building maintenance will all support the reduction of risk but you’ll also need an evacuation plan, access to safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and regular staff training. Seeking legal guidance for advice on how to maintain your plans once they’re up and running will ensure that you remain on top of this crucial area of employee safety.

Slips, trips and falls

Slips, trips and falls are the most common causes of injury in the workplace. Most people pick themselves up and bounce back, but for some, their injuries could lead to serious complications and long absences from work. If this is the case, it could also lead to some nasty implications for you if you didn’t do everything you could, as an employer, to prevent it. The most common cause of this dangerous hazard is poor building maintenance, and this can be easily rectified. If you have cracked or uneven floors and surfaces, blocked walkways and spilled liquids then, think about it, you’re bound to witness a few accidents. Luckily, regular cleaning and assessment of common areas will significantly reduce the risk of this recurring. 

Manual handling

Manual handling doesn’t just refer to the operation of heavy machinery and the lifting of large objects. The truth is, that even if you work in an office environment or do a rather sedentary role, you more than likely need to know about safe manual handling practices. Lifting a box of paper incorrectly or reaching too far for an item that’s needed to do your job can lead to injury or stress on the body. This is why teaching your staff how to work safely is key.  If you can incorporate specialised furniture such as standing desks and adjustable work surfaces this will demonstrate determination towards a safe workspace for your whole team.

Having learned that fire, falls and poor manual handling practices are the main causes of injury at work, you now have a good basis to plan your next steps. “What are my next steps?”, I hear you say. Well, you’ll need to create an action plan that details all these areas so that you can keep on top of your new, existing control measures. A robust action plan should include potential or recognised safety hazards, what steps need to be taken to prevent that hazard from popping up, a designated person to fix the issue and a review date so it’s not forgotten about. By spending time completing a comprehensive plan and sharing it with all your staff you’ll be showing them that their safety is important to you. 

Other articles on Buying