Workplace health, safety, and environment rules are among the most important parts of running a business, if not the most important. Human life can’t be replaced with money, regardless of how successful your company is.
There’s a pattern for these rules, regardless of what type of company you’re running, and paying attention to these is advised by professionals for a reason. In order to keep your workers safe and healthy, both in the short-term and long run, you need to pay attention to these rules.
Health and Safety
Minimum health and safety standards must be met, regardless of the type of business you’re in. In order to fulfill these standards, a risk assessment has to be carried out. Pay attention to places, substances, and general activities that could cause injury or sickness in your workers.
Safety hazards should be noted; potential dangers, such as loose floor tiles, spillages, and cables, might cause someone to slip or trip and fall. In addition to the general human aspect of trying to avoid these potential troubles, if you don’t pay attention to these, you could be risking more than a lawsuit. Excessive noise, fire risks, and moving vehicles should also be kept in mind.
After the risk assessment is done and findings recorded, decide on what action to take. Hiring professionals to tackle these potential hazards is always advisable.
Your Employees’ Health and Safety Rights
If you haven’t yet started your business, finding out what obligations you’re under when it comes to safeguarding your employees’ welfare should be done before you’ve hired your first worker. These include clean toilets, hand basins, soap and a means to dry hands, drinking water, good lighting, and proper ventilation.
Waste needs to be removed regularly, and the working areas must be kept clean.
A rest area is an obligation, as well as an advised changing room (obligatory if your employees wear specific uniforms). An external area for smoking is also advised.
Most offices come already built with fire safety in mind, but it is you who needs to make sure that each room has an easily-accessible fire extinguisher and a fire alarm. Consult OSHA and your state’s fire safety regulations to see what’s specifically required.
Every room within your office should come equipped with easily-openable windows and doors.
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you can guarantee the physical safety of your employees at any time of day. Although hiring a security company to guard your premises isn’t obligatory, it’s advised — setting aside a part of your budget for this is definitely worth it.
Security cameras are yet another optional feature that can protect your company from dangers coming from the outside, as well as from within the building.
It’s a good idea to assign an employee that you trust with safety duties, such as notifying the security personnel of any suspicious activity and maintaining oversight on goings-on within the workspace.
Make sure that you’ve equipped your employees with ID cards, in order to avoid potential breaches — anyone not wearing one of these is a potential security threat.
Some of the mentioned items are obligatory, while others come as advised. You’ll need to research the safety requirements for your area and industry. In order to make sure that your workspace is safe, secure, and hazard-free, aim to meet all of the outlined advice.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
Diana Smith is a full-time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to marketing and the latest business technology.