Starting your very own business can be both busy and exciting, and whilst taking the necessary steps to decide on your premises, and beginning to trade, are at the forefront of your mind, it’s also vitally important you are considering health and safety.
Whilst having thorough health and safety procedures for your business is good practice, it’s also the law, and as such here are some health and safety factors to consider for your start up.
Know the Law
Prior to opening your doors, you must make sure that everything you do within your business is legally compliant, and this includes safety. Ensure you are registered with the correct authorities for your sector and have fully trained employees in both first aid and fire safety. You must ensure you have a full understanding of the laws and regulations which affect your business before launching.
Before any work is undertaken in your business you should have completed a thorough risk assessment and be aware of any potential hazards and how to ensure these don’t result in injury in the workplace. Whilst the law doesn’t require risks to be removed, they must be adequately controlled, such as locking equipment and machinery keys in key storage cabinets so they cannot be accessed by unauthorised personnel, or displaying the relevant and required safety signs.
As a business owner you will no doubt have a hectic and erratic schedule meaning you may not always be on hand to cover health and safety. Because of this, it is extremely important to delegate this job by appointing suitable personnel to manage it. Whether this means training someone in-house or hiring external help, it is important to have this specific person on hand with high level training.
A written policy is the clearest way to make sure your employees and any visitors are aware of your health and safety procedures. This policy should outline responsibilities and be reviewed regularly to ensure staff are kept up to date, and your policy remains current.
Liability insurance is a must for any business that has employees, and this should be set up before anyone is on your premises. Liability insurance will cover your business for compensation claims if someone falls ill or is injured in the workplace as a result of their job.
These are just a few health and safety considerations you should take when starting a business, but if you are unsure of your health and safety legal requirements make sure you ask for help from the relevant authorities. Your business must be compliant with health and safety laws prior to trading, to ensure you’re not breaking the law and that you are providing a safe and secure place for your employees to work.