The Importance of Health and Safety Management within the Workplace

Business owners should not underestimate health and safety standards. You need to provide adequate health and safety procedures by law. As a business owner, it’s also your responsibility to make sure your workplace is safe for staff, visitors, customers, sub-contractors and the general public.

Over one million people are injured at work, and 200 are killed each year in workplace accidents. Employers need to assess their workplace and apply the appropriate safety procedures fully. 

Of course, some workplaces have more hazards than others because of the industry or trade they are in. For example, forestry is one of the more dangerous industries; forestry workers are six times more likely to be killed than construction employees.

Workplace

So, what exactly is health and safety?

Health and safety procedures aim to protect those in the workplace. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a duty of care to their staff and the general public entering their workplace. Maintaining your health and safety policy is a legal requirement – if an employee does not feel safe at work, they may seek advice from an employee law service. 

It’s also good business practice to own a safe workplace that aligns with health and safety regulations. Business owners can be prosecuted for breaching these regulations, leading to fines, imprisonment and losing your business. 

From 2017 to 2019, the Health and Safety Executive reported that 1.4 million workers experienced a work-related illness and 144 killed. Simple procedures can reduce these statistics and help your workers to perform more safely and effectively.

When employees feel safer, they are more likely to want to work for you. There is less chance of legal cases and fees because of employee poor health and safety policies. Looking after your staff is a vital part of running a business, and it should not be underestimated. 

If you have more than five employees, you need a written policy of your health and safety procedures under the HSWA. Carrying out this risk assessment can help you to understand the hazards in your workplace and how you can minimise them. Write down a general statement of how you will manage these safety procedures and responsible for them. You should detail the risks in your organisation and the steps you’ve taken to minimise them. Review this policy annually, and apply any changes as needed.

Make sure to consider whether your staff need a refresher training course on health and safety procedures. For example, in construction, you may need to provide training courses on how to look after equipment properly and safely. Or, in an office environment, you may need to provide health training on what to do in the case of a fall or injury at work. 

Incorporate health and safety training into your induction programme so that employees are aware of these procedures from the moment they join the organisation. 

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.