As the business world becomes more complex, there are increasing risks to health and safety for everyone involved, especially employees working in the company. For any business to thrive, ensuring a safe and healthy workplace for its employees is essential. This is equally important for the reputation of the business. Moreover, authorities have introduced strict rules that businesses must follow and in failing to do so you could be liable for severe penalties.
Here are six ways that all businesses can maintain a healthy work environment to keep their employees safe.
Healthy Work Practices and Equipment Management
Personal protective and safety equipment is a must for all workplaces. Different types of work require special protective equipment. Occupational safety laws generally require that businesses provide all required equipment at no cost to their employees. “Businesses that fail to do so could find themselves subject to personal injury claims in the event of them using faulty equipment that causes them injury” says personal injury specialist, John McCarthy, from McCarthy & Co Solicitors.
Additionally, employers must make sure that the employees don’t work with dangling jewellery, long hair, and loose clothing while working with machines, especially rotary equipment and other devices with moving parts. These can be a huge risk as they may get caught in the machine and cause serious injury.
Machinery and other work equipment must be periodically checked following a strict preventive maintenance schedule.Electric shock hazards, fire, chemical burns, explosion and similar risks can be avoided if workers take adequate precautions with equipment and the materials they work with. It is equally important that employees use all materials as per instructions on the safety data sheet provided by the manufacturer.
Healthy and Hygienic Facilities and Processes
All work environments must include adequate first aid facilities to tackle health issues and emergencies. Businesses must also ensure a comfortable work environment by maintaining safe ventilation, lighting, and temperature. Clean toilets, kitchen facilities, and drinking water are also important.
Proper vaccination of employees is essential to protect them from common diseases if they work in a healthcare setting involving chances of infection. Vaccination against common infections like the flu is critical for everyone. Equally important is that the workplace is kept secure against unauthorised intruders using security surveillance systems and advanced access control technology.
Effective surveillance and access control systems can help avoid such threats to assets, information and employees by limiting entry only to authorised personnel, long-range identification to control vehicle or people entering the premises, and providing timely alerts in the case of unauthorised entry.
Risk assessment in the workplace is indispensable for any business as it can improve all other measures taken by the organisation to ensure the health and safety of theiremployees. The risk assessment process should include the following steps:
Strict Adherence to Regulations
Businesses should be well aware all official laws and regulations related to occupational health and safety. They must also strictly adhere to its clauses to build the right health and safety culture in the workplace. The Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Act, 1999, which elaborates the 1974 Act are fundamental UK regulations to be followed. Additionally, companies can also follow standards recommended by various international organisations.
Appropriate Training and Awareness
A business must conduct regular training sessions for theiremployees and ensure they are aware of all the health and safety practices they are required to follow. It must also display relevant safety instructions in prominent areas as per UK Health & Safety Laws. The company must conduct periodical mock drills, which employees can participate in, such as learning how to use a fire extinguisher. It is also necessary to verify if employees have gained adequate knowledge and awareness in this area through regular tests to ensure a healthy work culture.
Routine Inspection and Efficient Reporting System
Inspections are an integral part of any safety and security system. Businesses must conduct routine inspections that follow standard procedures. Besides visual and peripheral inspection, in-depth checking and verification of practices also need to be performed. Investigation of various documents can also be very helpful.
It is also essential to communicate with your employees to getfeedback on any health or safety concerns in the workplace. Apart from direct communication, logbooks and email addresses may also be used to elicit feedback and suggestions from employees. Large businesses should have a safety department, while small ones can have dedicated staff member to take care of the safety and health of employees.
All of the steps mentioned above are essential for any business to ensure a safe and healthy work environment in the organisation. Moreover, providing a better workplace for the employees will improve the company’s reputation, reduces employee turnover, increases productivity, and make it more successful.