On occasion, it’s important as a business owner to look back and reflect on the procedures and health and safety management systems you have in place to provide a safe, happy, and productive environment for your employees. To get the most out of your workers, workplace health and safety procedures and policies are an integral part of this. Policies and systems you have in place can help you manage and minimise legal risk as well as highlight the opportunities and benefits that your company can provide its employees.
Having workplace procedures in place will govern from a health and safety point of view, how your workers should perform their jobs. Things to consider, among many others are:
- is air quality important? Guidance document here: https://www.parliament.uk/documents/post/postpn366_indoor_air_quality.pdf
- Do workers stand for extended periods of time and need cushioned mats to stand on? An useful infographic about rubber floor mats can be found here: http://www.stratasales.com/page/anti-fatigue-mats/75/
Workplace health and safety doesn’t just stop with the obvious, but it should outline and document some policies that can serve as the foundation for managing your health and safety management system. You need to create and document the following for your business:
- how to respond to emergency cases and company situations
- your promise that your workers will be treated with equal respect and fairness
- an understood and accepted method of handling complaints as well as misunderstandings within your company to avoid legal claims
- an open wave of communication between your company and its workers.
Workplace health and safety management systems are comprised of documented processes and procedures that can help guide your business practices and to help spell out step-by-step instructions that enable workers to carry out jobs or tasks effectively and safely. There are numerous advantages to having such policies and procedures in place, and you should take a look at some of them below.
- It’s important to care about what the outside world thinks of your business and how it addresses health and safety obligations you may have towards your workers and the environment. By having the necessary health and safety management systems in place, you can ensure that not only do you take your company seriously, but you’re committed to working with approved principles in the industry.
- The proper health and safety guidelines can help guide your employees in the workplace and prevent them from making costly or potentially fatal mistakes. It’s up to you as a business owner to figure out what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior for your employees. Not only do health and safety systems guide future actions of employees, but they can give them a peace of mind knowing that you take their well-being seriously.
- It can be costly to hire additional staff members to watch out for your employees and ensure that everything they do is up to your standards as well as that of the health and safety guidelines. By having an existing procedure in place when it comes to dealing with the different issues that may occur in your company, you can save time, money, and energy when handling potential problems. Bear in mind that it’s important to constantly educate your employees and let them know that if the systems you have had in place for a while have changed in any way.
Each of the benefits highlighted above can help you improve the health and safety systems you have in place right now or allow you to create one that looks out for the well-being of your company and its employees. The welfare of your workers should always be a top priority, and your company should be committed to workplace health and safety in order to provide a productive environment for your company.
Here’s a short video detailing the Health and Safety Executive’s stats on workplace injuries – quite an eye opener!