How to approach Health and Safety if you run a small business
There’s a tendency to think of Health and Safety processes and procedures as applying only to large companies, but the rules are the same for companies of all sizes, and for most small businesses the responsibility for this tends to fall on the business owner. So we’ve compiled a few tips to help you get started.
Tips for getting compliant:
- Create a health and safety policy and keep it in your company handbook
- If you have more than one or two employees, appoint a competent person to take charge of the project
- Carry out a risk assessment to identify the key hazards in your working environment
- Provide training and information so that everyone knows how to manage the risks that you identify
- Make sure you have a first aid kit at work, and have somebody on site who is a trained first aider
- Display a copy of the “Health and Safety Law” poster – or give your employees individual copies which you can download and print here for free
- Make sure you keep a record of accidents, as well as near-misses and work related illnesses
- Last but not least, make sure you have employer’s liability in place for your business to try to make sure you are covered if anyone has an accident at work
How to create a Health and Safety policy
A good Health and Safety plan starts with a Health and Safety policy.
This normally covers a statement of your intention to keep employees safe and might include a summary of the training you provide to your team, what protective equipment and clothing you provide and what emergency procedures you have in place.
It will then go on to designate particular people within the business to have overall and specific responsibility for implementing the policy. In a small business this might just be one nominated person.
The final section will include a description of the method used when carrying out a risk assessment, a description of the training programmes you have in place, and a commitment to consult with employees regularly to keep the policy up to date.
Need some help?
At Accounts and Legal, we’re lucky to have both accountants and solicitors under one roof, which means we can support a wide range of requirements for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
So if you need a hand putting together your health and safety policy, doing a risk assessment or training your team, please let us know.