Workplace accidents can be fatal for companies lacking proper safety measures but also for employees who usually don’t have a say in how processes are handled. Typically, only a few companies genuinely implement adequate security measures, from equipment to training, even if they state how vital workplace safety is.
There are many reasons for the lack of implementation, but according to statistics, most businesses reported inflated operating expenses after introducing an enhanced safety system. For instance, 8% of companies in the UK said their operating costs increased significantly, especially in the entertainment, accommodation and construction industries.
But health and safety at the office are still important, and even small businesses should include it as a sustainable goal because it helps with employee retention and creates a good brand image.
So, here’s what you should follow to become a safe small business for everyone.
Create specific policies
Depending on your work area, there are unique hazards and risks employees will be exposed to, so your safety policy must be tailored to everyone’s needs. Such a plan should include specific tasks and responsibilities to management and workers, explaining when they can interfere in solving challenges and what strategies they will adopt in mitigating such issues.
A small business with more than five employees must draft its own safety policy, but that’s not
necessary when fewer than five workers are employed. Regardless, once you establish it, it must be shared, explained, and altered when needed with workers so everyone is on the same page.
A safety policy is the first step in building a stable company and decreasing the chances of workplace accidents to occur. At the same time, it provides a safety net if you truly were involved in safeguarding the business. Otherwise, if your small business breached its safety claim, employees injured at work due to your negligence can seek support to pursue a workplace accident claim.
Identify hazards continuously
Regardless of the initial safety policy, you may notice specific causes and risks for workplace injuries. For instance, when your small business starts generating stable income, your employees might be more susceptible to tiredness due to hard work, so they’re more prone to slipping and falling around the office. Hence, you must re-design the schedule or better delegate tasks to stop this issue from developing.
Identifying hazards should be done with employee’s help because they’re directly exposed to risks and can better explain how a particular situation can become dangerous. This will help you identify the problem causing a supposed injury or triggering an illness.
The following steps include analysing how much the risk would affect workers and initiating a
plan to eliminate or control the hazard to minimise the effects. As a small business, it’ll be easier to manage these issues, but you need to handle them time-efficiently.
Offer on-site training
On-site training is paramount for employees to understand their role in the workplace, whether it’s a construction site or a modern office. Carrying out a proper risk assessment is helpful, but getting them through their daily tasks and discovering challenges together makes your team stable and prepared.
Training procedures should include supposed harmful situations, the chances of accidents to happen, and the emergency procedures and measures required to be taken in these situations. In other words, people should know what they’re expected of during stressful occurrences to take the lead and provide help.
For example, if one employee is in danger, others can take safety precautions and protect the others while helping the person escape from any fatal situation. Moreover, proper training ensures employees you care about their health and well-being.
Although you may not always be wary of what happens at the site, employees can be responsible for keeping a record of new hazards and risks so you can mitigate them. This process should be encouraged in the long term because many are afraid to speak their mind when it comes to business risks, as some managers might compromise their contracts.
However, this is illegal, and every leader, regardless of the size of the company it rules, must take precautions when employees work in a dangerous site. Implementing the best practices and offering proper equipment is the bare minimum as technology evolves.
You should also research what needs to be recorded. According to the Health and Safety Executive, workers should report deaths, worker incapacitation, occupational diseases and more. These statements will give valuable insight into what needs to be improved in your small business and how you can prepare your workers to withstand further challenges.
Delegate one or more people to watch over your team
While you’re the main person who mitigates risks and hazards at the office, it’s best to delegate part of this task to competent employees who are always there to meet health and safety policies and ensure everyone’s in good shape.
Depending on the size of your small business, you can appoint one or two reliable people who thoroughly know the safety regulations and are wary of the company’s potential hazards. At the same time, even someone from outside the business can step in, but since they’re not constantly engaging with the environment, their efficiency might be limited.
A competent person who manages risks might require training to develop specific skills. Sometimes, these individuals must perform certain tasks to help their co-workers and take further steps to minimise the risk and report the problem. This might require experience and knowledge of health and safety. Still, these criteria should be imposed on small businesses with a considerable number of employees, where managing safety can become complex.
Predicting and mitigating health risks as a small business might seem unnecessary, especially when you have few employees or are working remotely, for example. However, it must be done because proper safety measures ensure all workers are in good shape and able to increase productivity levels without affecting their health and well-being. So, you need to create a special workplace safety policy and adapt it to your company’s needs.
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