The term “health and safety” has had a bit of a bad press – often it is treated as a phrase signifying an overly fussy need for regulation. But at its heart the idea behind it is simply making sure that people are properly protected. Companies need to be aware of this because if you do not protect your employees or any visitors to your working environment properly then you could be liable for any compensation or damages so it is better to minimise risk wherever possible.
If you need help get it
There are a number of companies that offer external services to provide risk assessments and offer advice on ensuring that you are following health and safety regulations. Equally you can go online and find templates where you can write out your own health and safety policy for your employees to follow.
However, for most businesses of any size there are a few basics to be aware of, such as having your health and safety information prominently displayed is important as well as a log book when you can note down any accidents or injuries that occur.
There are also practical things such as having a clear sign that people can see if there is a spillage on the floor. Aside from warning people it is also worth having so that in the event of a compensation claim you can clearly prove that you did have a warning in place.
Different working environments will have different potential risks. Some are obvious- for example if you are in a restaurant then you will be dealing with sharp knives and will need to ensure that food is handled in the right way. If you work in a factory then people need to know how to use equipment safely.
Even in an office there are potential issues – any cables should be taped down securely and out of the way to prevent tripping. Anyone using computers should have chairs that encourage proper posture and people should take breaks from looking at screens to prevent eye strain.
With incidents such as the Grenfell Tower fire in recent times the issue of fire safety has become more prominent and with good reason. A risk assessment of your building will help to make sure that people can be safe and also can easily escape should a fire take place.
While it may seem obvious always make sure that fire exits are not obstructed and that people know the assembly point in the event of a fire so that you can check to see who is there.
Talk to us
If you have been injured as a result of your company not following through on health and safety regulations (or you have any concerns about your business not being up to date in terms of health and safety) you can talk to us. We have a team of specialist legal representatives you can contact directly if you want to know more or would like to discuss a potential case in more detail.