Managing health and safety doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. For many small businesses, a basic series of practical tasks will help to protect you and your employees from harm and at the same time help protect your business.
As an employer, or a self-employed person, you are responsible for health and safety in your business and in general, health and safety laws apply to all businesses.
Below you’ll find some information and simple templates specifically for small businesses to help you keep people safe and help you comply with health and safety law.
A well prepared health and safety policy will clearly set out and demonstrate to your employees your business’ commitment to health and safety and how you will manage it. It is a UK legal requirement and should clearly say who does what, when and how.
To help ensure your workplace is safe and secure, you’ll need to carry out suitable risk assessments. These assessments look at what conditions and/or practices in the workplace could cause harm to you, your employees, contractors, visitors and the public. The assessment should include what precautions you have taken to reduce and control the risks.
How to assess the risks in your business:
Providing relevant and effective training for your employees will help to ensure that everyone who works for your business can work safely without risk to their health. Employers need to provide information, training and supervision so that employees know what risks they may face, what measures are in place to deal with those risks and how to follow any emergency procedures.
As an employer, you are responsible for putting in place first aid arrangements in your workplace. As accidents can happen at any time, you need to ensure your employees receive immediate attention if they are injured whilst at work - first aid can save lives and prevent minor injuries from becoming major ones. Your business’ first aid requirements will depend on your specific workplace but as a minimum you must:
Another key priority for an employer should be to prevent and avoid accidents and ill health caused by work. Keeping records will help you to identify patterns of accidents and injuries, and will help when completing your risk assessment. Your insurance company may also want to see your records if there is a work-related claim. Under health and safety law, you must report and keep a record of certain injuries, incidents and cases of work-related illnesses.