How can health and safety audits reduce accidents at work?

A safe and secure workplace

The awareness regarding health and safety in the workplace is increasing. Thousands of injuries in the workplace occur on a daily basis — and these range from minor injuries to very serious ones. As an employer, how do you go about overseeing a safe and secure environment for your employees?

Conducting a site audit with proper due diligence program and partnering with a firm that specializes in safety training and consulting can help reduce the accidents (and other injuries) in the workplace.

To find out what a health and safety audit looks like, see lbjconsultants.co.uk.

Health and safety policy

According to hse.gov.uk, the law says that every business must have a policy for managing health and safety.

The health and safety policy will show how the employer manages the health and safety of the business and it should be able to clearly say who does what, when, and how.

You must write down your policy if you have five or more employees. If you have less than five, though you are not required, it is useful to do so. Keep in mind that policies (and any changes to it) must be shared to your employees, should there be any.

Handbook for employees

In the United Kingdom, employers are not required to have an employee handbook although you must produce a contract of employment for each employee on or before the day they start to work for you. An employment contract should be able to outline the important details specific to each employee.

The employee handbook applies to all employees, it sets out your company’s policies and working practices. It establishes:

  • how the company complies with employment law;
  • the standards you expect from your employees; and
  • how complaints from or about your employees will be addressed.

It is safe to presume that it can be quite daunting to produce a handbook — but it is worth it.

Fire risk assessment

As the employer, you must regularly review a fire risk assessment of the premises. This will keep your people safe by identifying what you need to do to prevent fire. If you have five or more employees, you must keep a written record of your fire risk assessment.

Things to consider:

  • Emergency routes and exits.
  • Fire detection and warning systems.
  • Firefighting equipment.
  • Removal of dangerous substances or create safe storage.
  • Emergency fire evacuation plan.
  • Needs of vulnerable people — elderly, young, and/or those with disabilities.
  • Provide information to employees and other people on the premises.
  • Fire safety training for your employees.

Workplace risk assessment

Risk assessment is under a risk management process included in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations. It is also the process of:

  • identifying whether workplace hazards exist or are likely to exist; and/or
  • defining which workplace hazards might cause harm to employees and visitors.

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