First Steps to Health and Safety for a Small Business

Starting up

There's plenty to think about if you're starting a new business, or are beginning a role in fairly new small business. Some of the luckier business people have meticulous planning and research skills, and are time-rich, and know everything they need to do before they boot up the computers for the first time.

However, many small business owners find themselves running an office or hiring a team almost by accident, as they have been working alone and been fortunate enough to grow the business without really having to think about it.

Avoiding Accidents

If you're the latter type of business, just because you appear to be lucky, don't let accidents be a regular part of what you do! As an employer, even if your employees are only casual workers or contractors, you still have a responsibility to maintain a safe working environment.

So at the very least, you should carry out a basic risk assessment of your workspace and the type of work that your team will be doing. Identify anything that could potentially cause injury if used incorrectly or left in a state of disrepair. Get a notebook and label it "accident book" and keep it next to a basic first aid kit in the office.

Train and Prepare your Staff

Training plays a very important role in a safe workspace. Training staff to use equipment properly and safely, and refreshing this training regularly, can prevent injury. As an employer, you are responsible for the wellbeing of your staff. If you feel that this is too much of a responsibility to handle alone, then consider sending one of your team on a first-aid training course.

First-aid training is very affordable, and once staff are trained, they are certified for 3 years.

Think outside the First-Aid box

Being health and safety prepared doesn't just mean having a first-aid box under the sink. Having a fire-extinguisher is also a good idea and helps staff feel safe too. You must display the HSE's Health and Safety at work poster too, reminding staff that they're responsible for keeping themselves and others safe too.

Finally think about preventing long-term damage from using computer equipment all day too. Although computers seem harmless, sitting in the same position for hours at a time can damage eyesight, cause muscle pain and poor posture and at most extreme, blood clots.

Consider purchasing good quality office chairs with a good range of movement and support features, as well as things like wrist pads and under-desk foot rests.

These may all seem like extra costs to start off with, but these minor investments will pay for themselves three times over when it comes to keeping a healthy workforce.

To find out about more Health and Safety courses, contact our team today.