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Health And Safety For Small Businesses – In 500 Words
Posted by David Cant on May 29, 2013
2 Comments

Health and Safety for Small BusinessWhether you’re starting up a new business, or reassessing your business following an expansion, understanding health and safety law needn’t be difficult. In fact understanding health and safety for small businesses is so simple we can cover the main points in just five hundred words.

Step 1 – The Competent Person

The first step is to appoint someone to be the ‘competent person‘ who will be able to manage the health and safety duties. This person needs to have the skills, knowledge and experience to cope with this, and if you feel that this is going to be a problem, don’t worry, because the competent person doesn’t have to actually be a member of staff. You can take advantage of a company such as Veritas Consulting who will be able to act as your competent person.

Step 2 – The Health And Safety Policy

The second step is to create a health and safety policy. If you have five or more employees then legally you’ll need to have this written down, but don’t worry, because the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Has helpfully put together a policy template which you can download by visiting www.hse.gov.uk/risk/health-and-safety-policy-example.doc.

Once you’ve downloaded the policy simply tweak it to suit your business’s circumstances, remove those bits that aren’t relevant, and include the names and details of those with responsibility for overseeing the policy. If you need extra help or advice then call one of our Health and Safety Advisors on 0800 1488 677 and they’ll be able to help you decide what needs to be included. You can also find more information on the HSE’s website at www.hse.gov.uk/business/competent-advice.htm

Step 3 – Workplace Risk Assessment

The next step is to carry out a Workplace Risk Assessment. This involves touring the business identifying any possible hazards or risks, including anything which could result in an injury. This includes risks or hazards which could occur in normal day to day work, during times when machinery or equipment is being serviced or maintained, and when things aren’t following a normal routine. Again, if you need a risk assessment carried out for you then just contact Veritas Consulting and we’ll be happy to help. Once you’ve identified all of the risks and hazards, you need to make a note of what you will do to minimise them. this can involve the fitting of safety grills, cut-off systems, safety equipment or clothing, or delivering training to staff. You can download a risk assessment template from the HSE’s website at www.hse.gov.uk/risk/risk-assessment-and-policy-template.doc.

Step 4 – Staff Training & Business Insurance

Staff training also needs to involve consultation. Ask staff about possible risks, and ensure that they know exactly how to report risks or hazards they notice in the future. Make sure that you have a suitably stocked first aid kit, and a trained first aider, and always display the HSE’s Health and Safety in the Workplace poster, and of course, make sure your business has suitable insurance cover through an authorised insurer who is on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) list (www.fca.org.uk)

Finally, always keep up to date, by following the HSE’s news feed (www.hse.gov.uk/news/rss/) and bookmarking this blog.

About 

David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Health and Safety, Health and Safety Consultancy, Health and Safety Regulations, Health and Safety Services, Health and Safety Support, Workplace Safety

One Comment

  1. August 25, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Thanks for sharing David! Health and safety comes first especially if you own a property or a business.

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