The Importance Of Health and Safety In a Working Environment

When running a working environment it is not only your own safety you are accountable for. The safety of your employees is also something which you are accountable for when running a business and if there are a lack of, or incorrect health and safety measures in place you are responsible for these. 

This article will outline the main aspects of health and safety that you should have implemented within your working environment. The consequences of not having these key health and safety measures can be hefty fines, or even prison. 

Fire Safety: 

The consequences of poor fire safety can be catastrophic. Having the correct fire safety measures in place does not end at having a fire alarm system installed to the place of work. These need to be checked regularly and any fire alarm system needs to be maintained as a legal requirement. 

Poorly maintained fire alarm systems can lead to false alarms which can waste the time of your employees, as well as the emergency services. False alarms can be caused by the sensors being dirty as well as the overall system being faulty. Companies such as IQ Fire Solutions offer fire alarm servicing for most makes of fire alarm systems.

Fire alarm systems should undergo maintenance checks every 6 months by a trained professional and these should be documented as proof these checks have been conducted. This proof is important as in the event of a fire, insurance companies might request this documentation. Failure to prove that these checks are being done can lead to fines of up to £2,000 pounds, or even up to 2 years in prison. 

As well ensuring that all fire alarm systems are working as they should be, as an employer you also need to make sure that your employees know the protocols in place if a fire does happen.

Health and Safety Signage:

When it comes to health and safety there are many different signs which as an employer you should ensure are on show for your workers to be able to see. 

You should have signs which display the fire safety protocol in place for your working environment. There should also be signs in place for any part of the working environment which could oppose a risk to your workers health and safety, for example any potential risk of  high voltage, low ceilings or deep sets which might need pointing out. 

These signs should be displayed in the correct places and should be up to date with any health and safety policies as they may change. Having a professional come in and assess these signs and their placements is not a legal requirement, however you still want to ensure that these are displayed correctly to avoid potential legal action being taken from your employees in case of an incident.  

Reporting Of Any Accidents:

If there are any accidents during the working environment, you as the employer are responsible for ensuring that it is documented correctly. Having an accident report book is a legal requirement and needs to be filled out efficiently in the event of an incident. 

The information these accident report books ask for include, the injury itself, how the injury occurred, any treatment or medication which was given, and if applicable what changes have been made to prevent the same accident from happening again.  

It is advised that any filled out reports are kept securely for a minimum of 3 years in case legal action is taken further down the line. These reports can often be used as evidence in a case if required. 

To Conclude:

As a business owner you have a responsibility to ensure that the safety of your employees is not at risk while they are in their place of work. If an incident was to happen and an investigation found that you were at fault there can be serious consequences. These can include penalties and in more extreme cases, prison. 

To ensure that you and your business are not at risk you want to make sure that you comply with all safety measures which are a legal requirement including all fire safety regulations. This will make sure that the wellbeing of your employees is not at risk.