A Comprehensive Guide to Health & Safety in The Workplace
Health and safety is one of the most important elements of the safe and legally compliant running of a business and therefore takes a considerable amount of time out of a business manager or owner’s daily schedule.
Detailed Guide to Health & Safety in The Workplace
Especially during these turbulent times of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, health and safety concerns should be of the utmost importance and top of the proverbial priority list. With this in mind, continue reading for a comprehensive guide to health and safety in the workplace.
What Does Health & Safety in The Workplace Actually Consist Of?
The term ‘health and safety is both a far-reaching and multi-faceted one. However, thankfully, the main individual elements are easily defined by the Occupational Health & Safety Act (1970) and consist of the following:
- Consultation with and training of employees
- Honoring and abiding by the legal and moral duty of care
- Due diligence
- Continuing risk assessments
- Fire evacuation procedures
- Preventing accidents
- The control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH)
- Correct distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE)
As the manager or owner of a business, you have a moral obligation to your employees to ensure the building and everything contained within it are entirely safe, secure, and as adherent to reasonable health and safety requirements as possible.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more commonly referred to as OSHA, is an organization that is affiliated with the government and therefore has the right to impose various penalties, inspect your workplace and property (even without prior warning) and record and report any and all violations of health and safety rules and regulations set by the government.
The OSHA inspection process can be somewhat arduous and can take many forms, from casual and seemingly informal walkarounds to more detailed inspections that can last for several days.
Improving Health & Safety in Your Workplace
Fortunately, there is a plethora of tried and tested, cost-effective, and relatively simple changes a manager or owner can make to their daily business practices that can drastically improve their adherence level to government-sanctioned health and safety rules.
Such changes should include:
For each ventilation system, ensure the unit is set to minimize the volume of air that is recirculated and conversely maximize the volume of air that is fresh and clean.
Provide fresh drinking water
If your business budget allows, the easiest way to provide fresh drinking water is to ensure there are copious water fountains available throughout the office and in the foyer.
Maintain & update first-aid kits
It is not enough to simply provide several first aid kits spread across the workspace. You must also carry out regular checks to ensure that each one is fit for purpose and that nothing inside has expired or been used and not replaced. You can provide First Aid Certification training to some of the employees.
Hold regular training days
Even if you, the manager, are fully versed in everything related to health and safety in the workplace, you need to ensure that every one of your employees has, at the very least, a basic level of understanding.