Managing the safety of your employees’ work environment is one of the most important duties of any employer.
Meeting health and safety requirements is an absolute necessity for businesses of any size – failure to do so could not only result in legal trouble, it could result in the injury of your employees. In this article, we take a look at some basic things you need to know to help mitigate risk in the workplace.
RIDDOR, which stands for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013, is one of the most important pieces of legislation that needs complying with when considering health and safety. It essentially means that it is the legal duty of an employer to report dangerous occurrences and illnesses, including the following:
- Deaths and injuries caused by workplace accidents
- Occupational diseases
- Carcinogens mutagens and biological agents
- Specified injuries to workers
- Dangerous occurrences
- Gas incidents
Part of health and safety management in the workplace is ensuring that an appropriate number of staff are first aid qualified. It is often the responsibility of the employer to send their staff on an appropriate first aid course, or in some cases it might be possible to use in-house training. It might be that not all staff need first aid training, but to be sure, check on the legal requirements of your specific sector.
Health and safety management
HSE (Health and Safety England) recommends the Plan, Do, Check, Act approach to risk management. They go into the approach in more depth on their website (linked above) but it essentially consists of the following:
- Create a plan which will get you from where you currently are to where you want to be in terms of health and safety. Decide how you’ll achieve your aims, measure performance, and comply with specific legal requirements.
- Identify your risk profile, detailing potential hazards which could arise. Organise how you will effectively implement your plan, involving the whole workforce, and then finally implement the plan.
- Measure the effectiveness of your plan implementation, assessing how well your risks are being controlled, investigating the causes of accident and near misses which have occurred.
- Review your performance, learning from accidents and other reported near misses, and check if you need to update your plans to protect against new found potential threats.
Another important concern is fire safety. Fire Risk Assessments must be completed regularly in order to keep them up to date. The assessment consists of five key steps:
- Identify potential fire hazards
- Identify people who are at risk
- Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks
- Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training
- Review the above at regular intervals
There is a collection of specific assessment guides on the government website (listed above) for different types of workplace. If your business has more than 5 people, it is a legal requirement to keep written records of your assessments.
This post has been sponsored by Complete White Label
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