Adopting health and safety measures such as safe working practices specific to your industry helps you remain compliant with UK health and safety laws, and protects your staff from injury at work.
Some industries are more prone to accidents so the requirements can vary to some degree, but there are fundamental measures that all employers must follow. So what are the essentials when it comes to health and safety in the workplace?
Health and safety measures to consider
Fire risk assessments are compulsory for non-domestic premises and typically involve areas such as fire fighting equipment, emergency exit routes, and fire detection systems in your premises. Fire safety risk assessments are one of the most important health and safety measures you can take – non-compliance could lead to an unlimited fine, and even a prison sentence.
Slips, trips, and falls
It’s important to consider the potential for slips, trips, and falls in the workplace, and minimise the risk to staff. Identify where these accidents could occur, where specific dangers lie, and make sure to keep floor areas free of obstacles.
Being able to administer first aid at work is crucial if one of your employees suffers an accident at work, and you may already have appointed a member of staff as a ‘first aider.’ You must inform all employees of the first aid procedures in place, however, and a formal H&S assessment will guide you on the specific first aid health and safety measures you need to take.
Health and safety training
Staff need to know about the health and safety practices you’ve implemented at work, such as the emergency procedures for a fire or other serious incident, where fire extinguishers are located, and who has been appointed as health and safety officer.
Facilities in the workplace
Adequate facilities, for hand washing, and food and drink preparation, for example, are important to the wellbeing of your employees. Health and safety measures in this respect might include providing a drying room for clothing, as well as an area to change into dry clothes if necessary, and a clean and hygienic eating area.
What steps do you need to take to comply with health and safety laws?
- Appoint a competent person to help with health and safety in your workplace – they would typically need to have some health and safety knowledge/experience, but training could be provided.
- Develop a health and safety policy – if you employ five members of staff or more you must have a written health and safety policy, but it’s recommended to do so even if you employ fewer than five people.
- Carry out a full health and safety risk assessment, document your findings, and review them regularly.
Acorn Health and Safety can advise you on the health and safety measures you need to take in your business to comply with laws in the UK.
Please contact one of our experts to find out more.