By Marco Sacca
Keeping your staff healthy and safe in the workplace is absolutely essential in order to keep a business ticking over. Not supplying suitable working conditions for your workplace can have a detrimental effect on all staff. As well as affecting staff physical and mental health, the repercussions of not sticking to health and safety regulations can be very negative. According to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, All the responsibility for this falls down to the business. They must constantly maintain a healthy working environment.
Identifying The Risks?
This is largely dependent on your workplace. Naturally some working environments are higher risk, such as construction sites. However, there are lots of problems within your everyday office environments which can have long term negative effects on your staff. Many offices can overlook simple problems, which can easily be avoided.
Brian Richards from Arinite Health and Safety Consultants said ‘’So many young business over-look, or forget just the simple health and safety aspects. These things are small but can come back to haunt you.”
A good place to start is simply walking through your office and thinking about any hazards. What activities are staff doing? Are there any processes or substances which could be harmful to members of staff. After working in the same place every day, sometimes is it easy to overlook different risks. These basic checks can prevent future staff injuries.
- Take account of non-routine operations
- Think about long-term health hazards
- Look back at incident reports and illness records
- Take into account members of the public and visitors
Planning What To Do Next
After assessing the potential risks in your workplace, creating a good strategy to prevent injuries is the next essential step. You must decide how likely it is an injury will occur, as well as how serious the injury could be. Evaluating the risk is essential to see if you can get rid of the hazard altogether, or simply make precautions to lower the chance of injury.
Practical solutions are sometimes all you need to do. Consulting workers on a regular basis might seem simple, but it is essential. For Office workers who are often at a desk all day, finding out how comfortable they are, or making sure they have ergonomic keyboards can help prevent strain injuries such as RSI. Even finding out staff opinions on safety matters can be a big help. They can give you an insight which you might have missed, or inform you how often safety protocol is followed.
When planning your health and safety, obviously you have to take into consideration budget. Some precautionary measurements won’t cost a lot. Simple things such as appropriate desk wear, or the right kind of safety helmets and globes won’t be big costs. However, failure to address some of these simple precautions can cost much, much, more if there is an incident.
With everything considered, and budget in place it should then be easy to implement the necessary safety procedures.
Review the risks
With all the necessary safety requirements in place the next step is maintaining everything to that standard. This involves regularly assessing the risk, communicating with staff and following safety regulations.
Not many workplaces stay the same. It’s not long before there is new equipment, or there are new processes involved. All of this could lead to new risks. There are a few things which you must continually consider.
- Are there improvements which need to be made?
- Have your workers noticed a problem?
- Have there been any significant changes?
- Have you learnt anything from staff injuries?
If these assessments are kept up with then it is easy to stay void of any work-related injuries or health concerns.