While some companies seem performant when it comes to creates a positive atmosphere where employees feel looked after and appreciated — such as Google or Xerox which have both deployed on-site approach to provide relaxing and stress-beating solutions to their teams — there is a duty of care that is also part of the legal requirements of every employer: The Health and Safety of your employees. The main problem with Health and Safety is that a lot of employers tend to forget that there’s a lot more to it than just sticking posters on the wall to remind the staff not to poke electric sockets with a fork. Information is, of course, one side of your H&S responsibilities, but you also need to ensure that your employees are kept safe by training programs, equipment checks and security-aware solutions. In other words, the H&S posters are just not fit for the job anymore.
1. The Obvious Health And Safety Training Program
As Health & Safety is a legal requirement, any employer who doesn’t meet the mandatory regulations can be prosecuted, especially in the case of an injury in the workplace. Contrary to the common belief, Health and Safety training programs are not mandatory unless your employees have to work with hazardous substances and complex machinery. In other words, office workers don’t specifically need to send on an H&S course. However, helping your employees to prevent injuries and understand the potential risks around them as part of an education program can make a great deal of difference in the long term. Effective programs can also visibly improve the work behaviour of your team, within an industrial factory or an office. Danger is, after all, everywhere!
2. The Mandatory But Invisible Health And Safety Responsibilities
Education is one thing, but your responsibility as an employer doesn’t stop there. It’s essential that you maintain the workplace to reduce the risk of accidental injuries and illnesses. Starting with the obvious loose cable fix that could avoid electrocuting someone to the less visible sewer pump repairs that could supply your offices with clean water, you’ve got a lot of things to tick off your to-do list. As a rule of the thumb, it’s about checking that there’s no potential risk to the health of your staff, such as:
> Dirty or stagnant water
> Loose electrical connections, sockets, plugs, cables
> Mold patches
> Presence of indoor air pollutants
> Broken or damaged machinery
3.The Safety Checklist You Can’t Ignore
Last, but not least, the safety of your employees is also part of your responsibilities and falls under the global Health and Safety requirements of an employer. Starting with a safe way to enter and exit your building to the installation of adequate alarm systems, the more you invest in keeping your team safe and secure, the less you’ll be exposed to risks and legal pursuits. Additionally, your insurance coverage might not accept claims of break-ins if the building is not fitted with security equipment.
Health and Safety is not a topic to be taken lightly. It’s vital for employers to look after their employees and provide the best education, equipment maintenance and security systems available in order to protect themselves from legal consequences.