Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees as well as any visitor to the premises.
In addition to these obligations, there are provisions for dealing with specific hazards and in industries where the hazards are particularly high.
Employers must provide information and training on risk and safe work practices. Employees must also comply with safety requirements at work and take all reasonable precautions to ensure safety.
Here’s what you can do to comply
Create a Health and Safety Policy
It’s good to hire someone to take care of your company’s health and safety responsibilities. But what’s the benefit meeting your health and safety obligations if you don’t have a written policy?
Developing an occupational health and safety policy for your business is a very important step to minimize potential risks. As a result, the designated Health and Safety Officer must not only be strategically focused, but you should also make sure that all team members are aware of your organisation’s commitment to health and safety by sharing it with everyone.
More importantly, they must know what to expect in terms of behaviour, processes and reporting of potential threats or incidents.
Although the idea of creating a health and safety policy may seem daunting, drawing it need not be long or complicated. All you really need is a short table or document that shows who is responsible for what activities, when they are performed and how they are carried out.
If you need help creating a health and safety policy for your company, HSE has samples and templates that you can use for your company.
Provide Training and Information
Everyone who works for you must know how to work safely and without risk. To achieve this, you must provide your employees with clear instructions and information, as well as appropriate training. This should be in a format that they understand.
Take out Insurance
If you have people working in your business, you must take out employer’s liability insurance.
It’s not just friendly advice. You are legally mandated to do this and, therefore, it is not optional. This is because it protects your business from financial loss should an employee get sick or injured while working for your company.
If you run a family business or do not have anyone working for you, you may not need employer’s liability insurance. However, there are other business insurance packages your business will need.
It is important that you determine what your business needs and take the appropriate protection. This will cover your business and protect it from financial loss.
Make the Workplace Safe and Healthy
Part of your compliance obligation is to make your workplace as safe and as healthy as possible. Some ideas to achieve this include:
- Make sure the air is well ventilated with clean and fresh air.
- Keep the temperature at a comfortable level.
- Light rooms so that employees can work and move safely.
- Keep work areas and equipment clean.
- Make sure the areas are large enough to allow free movement.
- Provide jobs suitable for employees.
- Keep the equipment in good condition.
- Make floors, pavements, stairs and roadways safe to use.
- Put in place barricades that will prevent people from getting into dangerous areas
Finally, stay well-informed of news and events in your industry to make sure your safety policies and risk assessments comply with government regulations and recognized codes of conduct and policies.
Once you know what is expected of you, you will know how best to stay on top of your compliance responsibilities.