Five steps to ensure that your workplace follows health and safety basics

Most businesses will need to abide by the current health and safety laws that are in place. If you are self-employed, or the employer, then this responsibility will fall to you.

You can manage your health and safety requirements without making it complicated or costly. Remember that the approach you take should be in relation to the size of your business, and if you're a small business and are low-risk, the steps you need to take will be straightforward.

Step 1: Appoint someone to manage your health and safety duties

You will need someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage the health and safety for your business. If you run a low-risk, small business then it's likely that you, or one of your employees can take on this responsibility. However, your business is larger then you may need some expert advice.

Step 2: Write a health and safety policy

Your policy will show that you are committed to having a healthy working environment and that you will stick to the details within the policy. It should cover who will be doing what, when and how. The HSE has created a template policy you can use when drafting your own.

Remember: If you have fewer than 5 employees you don't need to write down your health and safety policy, but it can be good practice to have one.

Step 3: Assess your workplace risks

In order to control the risks in your workplace, you first need to understand what these risks are. Then you need to have reasonable steps in place to minimise the risks that are imposed on your employees. If you carry out a risk assessment then you will know that you've taken everything into account.

Step 4: Consult with your employees and provide appropriate training and facilities

You need to make sure you have consulted all of your employees on health and safety. It is good practice to have regular talks with them in order to understand the work that they do, how risks are controlled and what information and training will need to be provided in order to keep them safe.

When you have provided training, ask your employees how they felt it was, in order to make sure it was relevant and effective. Keeping training records is the best way of making sure your employees have been trained, and if they may be due for a refresher.

Step 5: Get liability insurance

If your business has employees then you will need to have employers' liability insurance.

There are a few types of businesses where employers' liability insurance isn't required, such as if you're a family run business and all employees are immediately related.

For more information on insurance, check out our previous blog post - Do I need insurance?.

Summing up

Hopefully you have found some interesting information within this article and by implementing some of the steps you can help to minimise the risks posed to you and your employees.

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