by Lina Martinez
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Health and safety is an important part of any business. It might feel like a secondary consideration, but without it, your employees might get sick or injured, and your company may be liable for legal claims. In the best interests of your business, here is how you can implement health and safety in your company.
Policies are going to be the bread and butter of your businesses’ health and safety. You are going to need to construct a health and safety policy. This will outline how people should behave and act during certain situations as well as what kinds of things aren’t acceptable. For example, you can outline in the policy that people should not lift boxes from shelves above their heads without using a stepladder and have another person to help. This way, if someone injures themselves lifting a box off a shelf above their head without another person or step ladder, then it is their own fault, and they have no excuses. Your policies are going to need to be in depth and revised each year to take into account new information or changes to how your business is run. Each company will have different things in their policy, but a lot of the basics will be very similar. Therefore, you can find a lot of guidance on how to actually write the policies online.
One of the things that you will need to do outside of writing policies is to control risk. If something is posing a hazard, then you need to deal with it. For example, if the carpet has bunched up and it is a tripping hazard, then you need to do something about it or at the very least be able to evidence that you are trying to do something about it. This might mean contacting someone to come and fix it and then saving the correspondence or going in yourself and flattening the carpet. It isn’t enough to have things in your policy, as something will just happen. You need to be aware of and control the risk in your environment. Failing to do so may cause an injury to one of your employees, and you might be liable for a legal claim (https://www.derricklawfirm.com/).
Fire safety will need to be an entirely separate document from your health and safety policy. This is because it will need to be specific to what you need to do in the event of a fire and will need updating if anything changes. You do not want someone to get stuck in the building in the event of a fire. You will need to run fire drills every year to make sure that people know how to evacuate the building. You will need to check that the alarms and sensors are all working and that there are no mechanical failures. When evacuating the building, you will need to make sure that everyone is out and that you haven’t left anyone behind. If you have elevators, then you can’t use them if there is a fire, so you will need to take the stairs. If you have people with disabilities, then you need a plan to get them out of the building as quickly and efficiently as possible. All of this will go into your fire safety procedure document.