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How your business can avoid rising health and safety fines

Making sure your employees are safe and secure in the workplace should be one of your main concerns. For one, injuries and illnesses hurt productivity. Furthermore, you don’t want to be at the ...

Making sure your employees are safe and secure in the workplace should be one of your main concerns. For one, injuries and illnesses hurt productivity.


Furthermore, you don’t want to be at the receiving end of penalties if there is an accident in your working environment. According to health and safety consultants Arinite, there is a steep increase in government fines from this year. On top of this, business owners can even be liable for criminal charges, as they are by law ultimately accountable for providing a safe workplace.


This being the case, it may be a good idea to put in place some basic measures.

 

Is this applicable to office environments?


Many overlook the need for health and safety when it comes to ordinary office spaces. However, this neglect can be costly.


There is no denying that industrial premises present more everyday hazards such as machinery and chemicals. Nevertheless, offices have their own dangers, from electrical appliances to tripping hazards. A single misfortune could severely harm your business.

 

Examine your working space


The best way to start off is to walk through and examine your workplace. Is there anything that could pose a risk to workers or visitors?


Also review the tasks your staff carry out, and see if there are any risks involved. For example, if your receptionist has to lift and carry supplies as part of their duties, are they properly trained and capable of doing this?


Here are some of the other main aspects you should look out for:


• Equipment: Make sure there are no electrical faults in any of the appliances in the office. Furthermore, ensure that staff are properly briefed on how to use any machinery. For instance, there have been cases of people being scolded after not being aware of how to use an office coffee machine.

• Tidiness: Jumbled wires and objects on the floor can trip people up. Keep the office tidy to prevent this. The same goes in the office kitchen, where ill-placed knives and cutlery can lead to accidents.
• Storage and filing: If cupboards and filing cabinets are not attached to the walls, check that they are not overloaded. Also, ensure no objects are left on top of cabinets or cupboards.
• Interactions with the public: Is your reception area open to the public? If so, your reception staff should be trained and briefed for the possibility of aggressive and intimidating visitors.

On top of surveying the workplace, it is always good to hear the opinions of your staff. Call a meeting, and see if they have any concerns or suggestions for improvements. This will often bring about the most valuable insights.

 

What to do next?


Now you have surveyed the working environment, it is time to create a strategy and take action.


Firstly, list down all your observations from the previous step, and give each of the hazards a rating in terms of likelihood of an accident, and likely severity of a potential injury. This makes it easier for you to prioritise and allocate budget accordingly.


Obviously, some actions will be more inexpensive and simple than others. For example, tidying up the office is relatively easy. Calling in electricians for rewiring isn’t as cheap or straightforward, though. At the end of the day, prevention will always be cheaper than a fine.

Maintenance


This process should be carried out regularly, ideally once every six months. This will ensure that your health and safety procedure is always up to date.
Finally, take feedback from your staff. Ask whether they feel that improvements have been madePsychology Articles, and whether there is still room for progress.

 

 

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Sathesh is a freelance writer from London 



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