Whether working in an office or a construction site, the concept of health and safety provision is never too far away from our day-to-day lives.
Keeping employees safe plays a huge part in ensuring that employer’s can operate, and while for many of us it is a matter of little consequence, failing to match up to health and safety standards can soon shut down an organisation.
So we can see how serious it is for businesses of all kinds. But how to go about remaining compliant?
What is health and safety?
The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) outlines many of the standards that employers are expected to match in order to keep their workforce, and others around them, from harm.
The act’s provisions are with a view to:
- securing the health, safety and welfare of persons at work;
- protecting persons other than persons at work against risks to health or safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work;
- controlling the keeping and use of explosive or highly flammable or otherwise dangerous substances, and generally preventing the unlawful acquisition, possession and use of such substances;
- controlling the emission into the atmosphere of noxious or offensive substances from premises of any class prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph.
How to implement health and safety
Being health and safety compliant comes with different levels of consideration across industries.
Common hazards in offices include ergonomic issues arising from long periods of sitting, as well as repetitive strain injuries and fire hazards.
However, there is a far more apparent need for health and safety compliance in areas such as construction and manufacturing, where heavy machinery, bulky materials and other elements can pose an immediate and serious risk to health and wellbeing.
Personal protective equipment such as safety goggles, reflective clothing, reinforced footwear and hard helmets are basic considerations. However, business-owners must also keep in mind the substances that workers are being exposed to, as well as monitoring the effects of heavy labour on the mind and body.
Regularly mandated breaks, extensive training and investment in new technologies can all go a long way to keeping employees safe.
The benefits of health and safety
As well as being able to continue business operations, there are several other benefits to ensuring your company is meeting its health and safety targets:
Protect your workers from accidents and ill health
This will reduce absences and sick leave and can result in a significant uptick in the efficiency of your company’s workload and finances.
A healthy workforce is more likely to be a happy workforce, while retaining staff also means that the health and safety expertise that you build up is not lost.
Maintain your organisation’s reputation
If you rely on trading with other businesses, your chances of doing so will be higher if your company enjoys a good reputation. This can come from the products you make or services you offer, but also in how your company is run – including its approach to health and safety.
Reduce your insurance premiums and legal costs
Another one that directly impacts your bottom line. Even if there is a cost involved to raising health and safety standards, it could end up saving you in the long run.