When starting a new business, you may be overwhelmed with everything that you need to set up before you can open for business. Often, vital steps get left by the wayside as you focus on the obvious steps such as employees, stock and equipment. Risk assessments should be right at the beginning, and if you’re getting ready to open and you’ve still not conducted one, it’s time to get right on it.
Praxis42 bring you a simple guide to conducting and recording risk assessments, detailing what you look out for to ensure that your business is safe to open.
The aim of a risk assessment is to ensure that your workers and your business is protected and that it complies with the law. With no fixed rules for risk assessment, it can confuse some people that aren’t used to conducting them. It’s best to follow a few basic principles when conducting the risk assessment. Identify the hazards, decide who might be harmed and in what way, evaluate the risks and controlling them, record your findings in an easily accessible location and finally regularly review the assessment and update it often.
You first need to understand hazards and risks when evaluating your business. Identifying hazards is finding something that has the potential to cause harm, while risks is the likelihood that the hazard will harm somebody. It’s vital that you walk around the entire business area to spot any of these hazards wherever they may be. Speak to your employees and get multiple viewpoints as this will increase the chance of securing the building.
Once you’ve identified potential hazards you need to think about who many be harmed by them. Depending on where you find these hazards it could range from the employees, customers visiting your business or contractors you’ve hired for the day. Hazards that aren’t looked at have a possibility of affecting a multitude of people so it’s vital that you decide who could be affected.
Once you’ve decided who may be harmed, it’s time to evaluate and control the hazards. Decide on how you want to tackle the hazard and how it can be fixed, to ensure that the risks of injury is as close to 0% as you can get it. This may result in you completely removing the object that’s causing the hazard or finding a way to fixing the hazard completely.
It’s extremely important that you record everything you do in your risk assessment. If your business has more than five employees working for you, then you must, by law, record your risk assessment for later view. It shows that you’ve identified the hazards and taken steps into fixing them. This is also greatly useful for later down the line when you may need to review the assessment or you’re undertaking a new one.
It’s important to review your recordings every time it’s necessary such as when you have new employees as everybody acts differently. Or when you refurbish your business as this can create new hazards and create new risks to everyone that comes across them.
It’s well to conduct risk assessments thoroughly and often but when your employees have no training to speak of, this greatly increases the chance of damage or injury. This is easily fixed as E-learning can provide fast and simple training instantly for as little as £25 a course per person. The problems of old no longer affect businesses where you’d often have to book days off at a time to train your entire staff, losing productivity in the process. E-learning eliminates this as it can be completed anywhere on a multitude of devices.