UK Workplace health and safety - key for all businesses
Ensuring good health and safety in the workplace is not only good business practice but a legal requirement. Keeping the workforce, shop or office staff both healthy and safe ensures that productivi...
Ensuring good health and safety in the workplace is not only good business practice but a legal requirement. Keeping the workforce, shop or office staff both healthy and safe ensures that productivity is maintained and saves business and management from possible prosecution.
In the United Kingdom workplace safety is overseen by the Health and Safety Executive - HSE. The HSE not only puts the onus on employers to ensure the physical well being of their staff, employees also have an obligation to ensure they do nothing which jeopardises the wellbeing of their colleagues as well as themselves. Regulations are written into law to ensure standards are maintained.
The UK's workplace safety at work procedures put an enormous obligation on both employers and employees alike. But obviously the cost of maintaining these standards falls on the employer. But in the long term the costs will pay for themselves as production is not halted because of accidents, and the business faces a reduced risk of having to pay out compensation claims to injured staff. Also, by introducing a safety conscious ethos into the work environment, production may actually benefit as the workforce adapts better work practices.
As work practices have changed over the years, so have the regulations governing the work environment. While it has proved difficult for employers and business owners to keep up with the welter of new rules and regulations from the HSE, there is help for business managers. Several courses are available, such as the Working Safely Certificate, organised by the IOSH advisory organisation. This certificate helps guide businesses on the implementation of good practice in the workplace, guarding wellbeing of the workforce, as well as individual responsibilities in workplace safety.
There are also many agencies able to organise help and training on safe practice in the workplace in the UK.
Good health and safety in the workplace can make all the difference between a happy and contented workforce in a thriving business, or a company being dragged down as it faces disruptions in production and compensation claims from injured staff. So it is a vital issue for the modern business.
Of course one of the most time consuming tasks involved for many is drafting the documents and procedures that are necessary to not only keep the workforce informed but to also meet the requirements of the legal legislation. And, although the process of drawing up these essential documents can be a lengthy one it is a step that cannot, and of course, must not, be avoided.
Fortunately there are now a number of software packages and policy statement templates available for health and safety professionals to use to help them eradicate the time and effort involved in writing documents and procedures.
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