Even though it may sound complicated, health and safety management is easier than you imagine. Most employers all they have to do is to follow a basic series of practical tasks in order to comply with health and safety law. In that way, not only do they protect their employees from harm and accidents at workplace, but they guarantee the future success and growth of their business.
The basic guideline for an easy health and safety management consists of the following steps:
- Decide who will help you with your duties
Getting the right person for this job is very important. If you are a low-risk business, you may not use external expert help and appoint yourself or one of your workers as a competent person. The competent person should have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety.
- Write a health and safety policy for your business
In this health and safety policy you should clearly describe who does what, when and how.
- Control the risks in your business
Do a risk assessment and identify sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace.
- Consult your employees
Listen and talk to your employees about their concerns on health and safety at their work; how possible hazards are controlled and the best ways they think of providing information and training.
- Provide training and information
Providing clear instructions, information and adequate training for your employees is necessary. It should be in a form that is easy for everyone to understand.
- Provide the right workplace facilities
You must provide welfare facilities for all your employees, such as toilets; drinking water; a place to store clothing and a place to rest and eat meals.
- Make arrangements for first aid, accidents and ill health
The minimum first aid arrangements you need to have are a suitably stocked first-aid box; an appointed person to take charge of first-aid arrangements and information for all employees giving details of first-aid arrangements.
- Display the health and safety law poster
You should put the poster in a place where your workers can easily read it.
- Get insurance for your business
If you don’t run a family business, you will probably need employers’ liability insurance to help you pay in case of any compensation for your employees’ injuries or illness.
- Keep up to date
It is very useful to follow news and events in your industry in order to keep up with new health and safety policies and risk assessments.
Generally, health and safety laws can be implemented to all businesses. Depending on the size of your business and the nature of your business activity you need to take different steps. For example, if you have fewer than five employees you don’t have to write down a risk assessment or a health and safety policy. You can find help in www.osha.gov or through trade unions, employers’ organizations, and trade associations.