It does not matter what business you run, whether it is a café or a construction company, you need to make sure that health and safety is the main priority. No business can afford to overlook their legal responsibilities in this regard. You could find yourself in seriously hot water if you do not adhere to the rules that are in place. Moreover, health and safety should be viewed as a one-time thing. It needs continual evaluation so that you can make sure you always protect your employees and your customers. With that in mind, read on to discover some of the most common health and safety errors that businesses make so that you can avoid making them.
Failing to adhere to all applicable legislation
All businesses need to follow the Health and Safety At Work Act. However, there are then rules and regulations that are applicable to specific industries and working environments. You also have laws on certain elements of working practices, for example, manual handling. All in all, it is likely you will have a sizeable number of regulations you need to follow. If you operate a dangerous working environment, these regulations will only get larger and larger. However, you need to make sure you follow each and every one otherwise you could find yourself in big troubleth.
Risk assessment mistakes
Risk assessments are a necessity for all businesses. It does not matter whether or not you feel you work in an environment that is relatively safe, you need to carry out a risk assessment to determine any potential hazard and put in provisions to reduce the risks. When it comes to risk assessment errors, there are so many that can be made. Of course, the most obvious error is not carrying out a risk assessment to begin with. Aside from this, other blunders that company owners often make are as follows:
- Failing to act on your own recommendations. Simply drawing conclusions is not enough. You then need to put measures in place to mitigate the risks.
- Using an off-the-shelf assessment without adapting it to suit the needs of your business.
- Focusing on safety but forgetting about health.
- Not telling your workforce about the findings in the risk assessment.
- Not keeping assessments up to date.
- Only considering ‘normal’ operation and not accounting for incidents whereby operations will not happen exactly as they should.
- Not recognising and acting on all the legal requirements.
- Leaving out high-risk support activities.
- Treating ‘filling in the form’ as the risk assessment. The form is merely a record, not the risk assessment itself.
Lack of signage or incorrect signage
Next time you are about to start work or you visit your workforce, make sure you take a look around to make sure the signage is sufficient. It needs to provide the right amount of quality and visibility. If you do not believe this is the case, you must rectify any gaps as soon as possible.
Failing to carrying out monthly alarm testing
When it comes to fire alarms, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and such like, you need to make sure you carry out monthly testing so you can be certain that the alarm is working as it should be. The maximum limit in terms of a full system diagnostic test is once every six months. However, there are some premises that demand a quarterly check, so you will need to find out what is applicable to your business.
Not having a safety management system
There is no denying that technology has changed the way we work on so many different levels, and it has most certainly had an impact in terms of health and safety. If you do not have a safety management system in place today, you are running a big risk. Such software provides a systematic approach to safety. You will have one database whereby all necessary organisational structures, procedures, policies, and accountabilities are stored. This makes it easier to manage your approach to health and safety. Not only this, but you will have a complete overview regarding potential risks, training, risk control measures and so on and so forth. This will enable you to spot any inadequacies with ease so that you can make the relevant changes.
Ignoring staff training
Another very costly mistake that a lot of business owners are guilty of making is ignoring staff training. There is no point in determining the risks that impact your work environment, putting the effort in place to mitigate them, and then failing to inform your staff about safe working procedures. All of your work members need to have full and frank training regarding health and safety matters. If they do not, you could find yourself in serious trouble if an accident occurs because one of your employees has made an error due to a lack of training.
As you can see, there are a number of different health and safety mistakes that a lot of business owners are guilty of making. If you can avoid the errors that have been discussed, you can make sure your business is protected, as well as your employees and customers. If you are making any of the errors mentioned, please do not wait around to make the changes that are needed. If you do this, you are only putting your business at an even greater risk with every day that passes by.