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What you need to know about health and safety

When you’re in charge of a business, you need to make sure that you’re familiar with health and safety legislation. The Health and Safety at Work Act (HASAW or the HSW) was introduced in 1974 and acts as the main piece of legislation signed by Parliament to protect employees in the workplace from injury or death.

Employees need to understand that their bosses have a responsibility and duty of care to protect them in the workplace. As a go to guide for all employees, we’ve collaborated with United Carlton – a provider of innovative print management software – to ensure that your employees stay safe at work.

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Vital information you must know as a boss

Employers should be aware of the following:

  • All potential risks to the health and safety of employees should be documented within a risk assessment. For whoever is in direct contact with these potential risks, then the risk assessment should be coordinated with these employees.
  • If anything should go wrong at work, then your employees should know who is their first contact and who is responsible. This information should be given to employees in both a written and formal form.
  • At all times, employers and employees should work together to make sure that the working environment is kept safe at all times and that risks are kept to a minimum.
  • Employees should be provided with all of the health and safety training that they need, and this should be free of charge.
  • Equipment, clothing and tools should be provided for employees free of charge. This is so they can do their job properly, efficiently and safely.
  • In case anything should go wrong, employees should be provided with first aid kits or insurance to cover injuries or illnesses that occur at work.

Keeping up to date as an employer

Make any follow up training more of a regular occurrence within your business. Are your employees always demonstrating that they understand the health and safety training through their working practices? Through the course of the day, do they keep their practice consistent in coordination with the training they were given? Furthermore, do employees use tools in the correct way? If trained correctly, then employees should look after materials provided for them, and should make sure that all work property is cared for.

Encourage regular participation between employees within the business. Do employees work together in a way that ensures their own safety and their colleagues? Always check that employees are respectful and conscientious of each other before anything else, especially when working in mechanical or other high-risk jobs. No task in the workplace should be at the risk of another employee.

Form a strong relationship between yourself and your employees. In regards to the health and safety legislation that you’ve provided, are employees cooperating or rebelling against the standards set? During training sessions, are employees listening, or are they negligent of the legislation that has been relayed to them? If this is the case, then your communication channels need to be clearer, or you need to demonstrate to employees the importance of health and safety at work and how it can keep them and others safe in the workplace.

Listen to what your staff have to say. By listening properly, are you addressing when employees have come to you as an employer with a problem relating to health and safety? This could be documented in written form to ensure that the same problems are not repeated in the future. Ensure that employees are encouraged to report incidents or potential incidents when they see them; equipment inadequacies, inadequate training, and an employee’s incompetency to follow procedure should all be spotted by other employees.

Sources:

http://www.healthyworkinglives.com/advice/Legislation-and-policy/Workplace-Health-and-Safety/health-safety-legislation

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/law.pdf

 

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