Consideration was given for the editing and publication of this post.
One of the biggest dangers to a company’s health and safety legal standing is letting standards slide. Complacency creeps into the best of us, and small cheats and workarounds to make doing certain tasks that little bit faster, become ingrained, dangerous habits. There are some major mistakes a lot of businesses are likely to be making, which could easily land the company in hot water, we’ve put a few of them together here.
Failing to conduct regular checks:
Your workplace isn’t a static environment, and neither is the world of health and safety law. Make sure to schedule risk assessments within your business, accounting for employees with new personal health situations, and any changes to the physical workspace and how you conduct your business.
Workers have to rest, managers have to make sure they do it. The risks to the company are there for office workers as much as they are for someone working in a more typically ‘risky’ environment. Building up repetitive strain injuries can be as costly as accidents on a job site.
In any business you’ll be storing something on site which requires special attention – as a business, you’re responsible for making sure things are stored properly and out of harm’s way, even things such as cleaning chemicals. Assuming you don’t need to take precaution is a big mistake for any business.
Your first aid kit:
Such an easy piece of equipment to overlook, and something so easily thrust to the back of your mind. As first aid kits are readily accessible to employees, it’s easy for the contents to deplete without anyone noticing. You don’t want to end up in a medical emergency and find out the first aid box has been ransacked since you last checked it.
Letting the water closet and kitchen deteriorate:
Business owners are responsible for making sure their employees have access to acceptable standards of hygiene, but it’s easy to fall away on maintaining them and employees can be reluctant to take responsibility.
Not documenting your efforts:
Write down and document the steps you’ve taken to make sure your business is on the right side of health and safety legislation. If an employee is injured while working, having documentation of the steps the business took to minimise that risk will be a big help to the business.
Not having a process in place for when accidents happen:
Risk is something we mitigate and control, but don’t eliminate. If you’re looking to make sure your company enjoys as much protection as possible in the event of an accident, a plan of action is essential. While stress and panic run wild, your best bet for limiting further damage is having a clear, robust strategy of response.
Our list is by no means conclusive, and if you feel your business might be leaving itself open to a health and safety disaster, be sure to consult professionals as soon as possible.