Running a business can be hard enough without having to factor in all the necessary health and safety steps you have to take to ensure you, your staff and any customers or visitors are protected. However, health and safety doesn’t need to be complicated, or a headache in its own right, especially if you are a small business.

You will need a competent person

The first thing you need to do is ensure you have a competent person on hand to go through all the various requirements for your business.

If you are a small, or a low-risk business, then there is no reason why this competent person can’t be yourself, or perhaps another member of your team. Of course, if you have a larger establishment, or you operate what would be deemed as a high-risk business, then the chances are you will be better served buying in expert advice to ensure you are doing everything correctly.

Writing a health and safety policy

Did you know that if you have fewer than five employees then you do not need to write down your health and safety policy? However, having something you can refer to, and which demonstrates your commitment to health and safety is always good practice.

A quick search on the internet will lead you to a number of perfectly suitable Word templates which will get you started on your SME health and safety policy. However, you may want to speak to a professional to ensure you have taken in to account all possible risks at every stage of your business to avoid any nasty surprises in the future.

Controlling risks

No matter what the workplace, or the nature of the work conducted, there is going to be an element of risk associated with every business. The key here is to do everything you can to identify where those risks lie, and what you can do as an employer and as a business, to reduce those risks.

Conducting risk assessments for each activity that takes place will help to address these potential issues. Remember, if you have fewer than five employees you do not have to write anything down.

Speak to your staff

Identifying every potential risk or health and safety issue can be difficult, even within a small working environment. It therefore makes sense to discuss the matter with your current staff, to get their opinion and feedback on issues they may come across.

This two-way dialogue will also ensure that staff can feel confident in raising any health and safety concerns they have with you, safe in the knowledge that they will be taken seriously, and addressed.

Did you know …

People Matters HR can act as your ‘Competent Health and Safety Advisor’ on a retention basis or carry out ad hoc services ‘as and when’ required? We can prepare your safety documentation such as health and safety policies, health and safety arrangements, method statements, construction phase plans, demolition plans and other documentation.

We can also prepare management systems to meet ISO standards, NHSS standards and factory production control manuals to meet EN 1090 (CE Marking of structural steelwork).

We are People Matters because YOUR people matter.