5 items that should be on any small businesses’ health and safety checklist

Good health and safety management takes time to develop and even more time to perfect. Whilst you may not operate in a company big enough to merit a full health and safety department, or even a health and safety advisor, there are some small steps you can take to improve the safety of those within your company. Here are 5 important items that should be on your small business’s health and safety checklist.

  1. A good health and safety policy

The first item on your health and safety checklist should be a bespoke health and safety policy. Developing this with a team will help you come up with the general approach to health and safety and the steps that employees should follow to promote safe work practices.

  1. A properly conducted risk assessment

When you have a good health and safety policy, the next item on your health and safety checklist should be a properly conducted risk assessment. These are necessary no matter if you work on a construction site or office environment. Use it to identify potential hazards, work out who is responsible for them and how you are going to manage them. You can then use your findings to compile a health and safety audit. Alternatively, you can even outsource these tasks to a health and safety consultancy firm. The choice is up to you.

  1. A basic understanding of RIDDOR reporting

Accidents happen, and if you want to follow the current health and safety legislation you need to know how to fill out a RIDDOR report or the equivalent of such a report in your country. These are reports that go straight to the HSE Executive and provide a record of previous incidents that can be useful for future research and compliance.

  1. A clean and safe working environment

The first three items on the health and safety checklist will help you stay compliant with the legislation, but you should also do your own due diligence to keep your working environment safe. Given the current dangers posed by the pandemic, you should try and keep your workplace clean and socially distanced. Some of the steps you can take to ensure your workplace is safe include:

  • Good hand-washing stations
  • Handrails (that are regularly cleaned)
  • Ergonomically supported chairs and desk features
  • Properly height adjusted monitors

These steps can help you keep your office clean and safe for workers, which will help reduce the potential for long term health risks and lost productivity through sick days.

  1. Good health and safety training methods

Your workforce is your greatest asset in the business, and using them to harness good health and safety practices should be an ever-present feature on your health and safety checklist. You can achieve this by incorporating health and safety training measures into your employee development programs.

Furthermore, it is highly recommendable to invest in the likes of first aid training courses in Toronto for at least one member of staff. Depending on the size of your company and the risk assessment of your working environment, you may need to train more than one member of staff. In the event of an emergency, this training can pay off by helping to manage the incident and prevent it from worsening. A good first aid response can potentially save a trip to the emergency room and help employees return to work with confidence.

Use all 5 to your advantage in health and safety

Whilst it may be viewed as important from a pure compliance point of view, good health and safety management can also improve the competitiveness of your business. Fewer accidents and sick days mean more cost savings for your business. Make sure you adopt the 5 approaches listed to make sure your business is sorted from a safety perspective.

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