No matter the size of the business or industry, every company needs to comply with health and safety laws. If an employer fails to adequately establish a safe working environment, both the individual and the business could be liable. To help prevent the devastating consequences of a workplace injury, there are some vital safety measures every business must have in place.
1. Emergency Lighting
The all-important emergency lighting is designed to ensure that occupants of a building can reach the exit in situations where the mains electricity is no longer working. Mains electricity might fail for a variety of reasons, such as a fire, a power outage, or equipment malfunction. Emergency lighting is a mandatory obligation with life-saving potential, it ensures that all occupants can evacuate the building safely.
2. First Aid
The employer must make sure all employees can receive attention immediately in case of illness or injury. The particularities of a first-aid procedure will differ depending on the size of a business and the nature of the work. However, the essential requirement is at least one fully stocked first aid kit, a trained first aid responder, and an established procedure. All employees should be made aware of who the qualified and designated first aid person is, as well as the company’s protocol in case of an accident.
3. Fire Safety
Luckily, fires are not normally an expected part of running a business, but frequent fire risk assessments should help to prevent such a situation. A risk assessment should identify the potential fire hazards, which the employee is then able to mitigate. Although these offer great reassurance, it is not enough to assume the assessment and resulting action to rectify hazards have eliminated the risk of fire completely. It is a legal requirement that every company must have fire extinguishers, fire doors, fire detection, and alarm systems, fire exits, escape routes, and designated meeting points. Businesses must train employees in case of a fire, have designated fire safety offices within the company, and carry out routine fire drills.
4. A Health and Safety Policy
If a business has five or more employees, they are legally obliged to have a health and safety policy. This policy should include:
- A statement of the business’ general health and safety policy, in which the commitment to maintaining employee welfare is outlined
- A responsibilities section, which identities which is responsible for which tasks
- An arrangement section, which should detail what is in place both in terms of physical measures and actionable plans, in case of emergency or injury
This policy should be signed by new requirements on their first day of work and should be kept on hand, so employees can access it if and when it is needed. Once a policy is created, it should be reviewed often to ensure that every risk is adequately covered and fully implemented. A health and safety policy is there to make sure the employees are prepared and informed no matter the situation.