5 easy steps for smaller businesses in managing health and safety

Managing health and safety can be daunting for smaller businesses with limited resources, but by implementing a few health and safety basics you can get to grips with your obligations as an employer and comply with the regulations.

But where do you start with health and safety as a smaller organisation? Here are a few essential steps to take.

1.    Appoint someone to manage your health and safety

You need to appoint somebody competent, and with some knowledge and experience in this area, to manage health and safety in your business. If there’s nobody suitable you could appoint an external consultancy to ensure you comply with health and safety laws, and avoid the hefty fines that non-compliance attracts.

2.    Develop a health and safety policy

Developing a health and safety policy is essential when you’re an employer, although you aren’t obliged to have a written policy if you employee five members of staff or fewer.

The industry and associated risk will determine the level of detail required in individual health and safety policies. Employees in construction businesses face more risks from a health and safety perspective than those working in office-based businesses, for example.

There’s always support available with respect to managing health and safety. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provide free templates and explain what should be included in a policy.

3.    Carry out a risk assessment

In a practical sense, managing health and safety begins by assessing the risks to staff and ensuring the necessary measures are taken to either eradicate or reduce them as far as possible.

Walking around your business premises with this in mind helps to identify potential issues, as does asking employees about their day-to-day working practices. Having established and determined the level of these risks, you can then take steps to mitigate them.  

4.    Consult with employees

Talking to employees is a key part of managing health and safety in the workplace. You can learn a great deal from listening to an employee’s perspective on potentially risky procedures, or areas of the business that might require attention from a health and safety point-of-view.

You also need to consult them on their training needs to reduce potential risks, keeping written records so you know when training needs to be refreshed or updated.

5.    Employers’ liability insurance

Employers in the UK must take out liability insurance to cover potential claims by employees if they are injured in the workplace or suffer a work-related illness. This type of insurance may pay out some, or all of the compensation if you’re found liable.

Managing health and safety doesn’t need to be complicated. Acorn Safety Services provide professional health and safety consultancy services, CDM consultancy services, construction health and safety services,  fire risk assessments, and asbestos services to businesses throughout the UK. Please contact one of our highly experienced consultants to find out how we can help.

Need help with Health and Safety? Request a call back!

Request a call back from one of our expert Health and Safety Consultants who can help you whatever your health and safety, CDM or fire risk needs.

More Health and Safety Articles & News

Acorn Safety Services shortlisted for top award

By Neil Munro | 11th May 2021

A few days ago, we had a lovely surprise. We received an email telling us we had been nominated for the Best Customer Service award at the SME Northamptonshire Business Awards 2021. The next stage of the contest is a public vote and we have been touched by how many clients have already been in …

Read more

Is your workplace protecting people from legionella?

By Ian Stone | 4th May 2021

As more and more workplaces open up following the latest round of lockdowns there are lots of things that employers need to consider, to ensure employees and visitors to their premises remain safe. One-way systems have become the norm in many workplaces and the use of face masks and other Covid-19 related measures have become …

Read more

No excuse to ignore health and safety law with launch of new app

By Neil Munro | 27th April 2021

We were very interested to recently hear that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a bespoke mobile app which is designed to help organisations understand the law, their health and safety rights, and their responsibilities. The app has been created in partnership with The Stationery Office (TSO), and is primarily for small and …

Read more

What do Health and Safety breaches make you think about?

By Ian Stone | 20th April 2021

When I hear about health and safety breaches I always wonder how company bosses react to them. I’d like to think that bosses would take a minute to review their own practices and if they have employed experienced health and safety specialists they should feel confident that they are doing all they can to prevent …

Read more

Tragic case shows why we all need to take Health and Safety seriously

By Neil Munro | 13th April 2021

We were recently made aware of a very sad case which shows how tragic the consequences of a health and safety breach can be. A few weeks ago, Durham Crown Court heard that on 12 December 2015, Simon Hogg and Raymond Garrett were operating a waste processing line at the Aycliffe Quarry site of Stonegrave …

Read more

British organisations fined £11m for Health and Safety Breaches

By Ian Stone | 7th April 2021

During the first three months of 2021 businesses across Britain have been fined millions of pounds for breaching health and safety law. Between January and March, British firms, schools and local authorities were successfully prosecuted for a wide range of breaches which in many cases left workers and members of the public with life-changing injuries …

Read more

HSE boss calls for ‘renewed vigour’ to make workplaces Covid-secure

By Neil Munro | 1st April 2021

Last week, the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) new chair used her first blog of 2021 to set out the organisation’s expectations of firms across Great Britain in the coming months. Sarah Newton, who took over the top job at the HSE last August, reflected on the past year and the impact Covid-19 had, had …

Read more

Is the HSE warning firms to get their houses in order?

By Ian Stone | 23rd March 2021

At the beginning of the year, we shared the news that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had begun its search for a new Director of Legal Services. This was interesting because the role was a new position that had been created at the organisation following the HSE’s Chief Executive-led review. At the time, the …

Read more

Did you know we offer FREE Health and Safety Surgeries?

By Neil Munro | 16th March 2021

At Acorn Safety Services our expert team lives and breathes Health and Safety. We are passionate about what we do because our services keep people safe and help businesses to reduce staff absenteeism and ensure they are fully compliant with Health and Safety law. As a result, firms can say goodbye to the fear that …

Read more

Coronavirus

Are your staff in need of Covid-19 tests?

By Ian Stone | 9th March 2021

Increasingly, we are finding that frontline workers, including construction workers, are expected to have regular Covid-19 tests before they report to their sites or workplaces. Only last week we were asked by a client to undertake inspections on a site in London. Their client insisted that anyone who visited the site must have received a …

Read more