There are many health and safety regulations that businesses must abide by to ensure they are providing a safe working environment for their employees. Here are some of the health and safety precautions that every business should take.
By law any business premises must have adequate fire escapes and staff need to know which actions to take in the event of a fire, including where the fire assembly point is. In terms of prevention, anything that could be a fire hazard should be established and precautions taken where necessary and where possible to limit the chances of a fire.
In case there is a fire problem fire extinguishers and fire blankets should be available and staff should be shown how to use them. Some members of staff should be trained in basic first aid so they can take necessary actions where required. These staff members should be specified as first aiders and can then administer aid when there is the need for it. First aid kits should be provided, with the number and location of these depending on the size of the premises.
Everyone should be told where they are. It is important that equipment used by staff is safe for its intended use and important that equipment is tested on a regular basis. PAT testing is one way of testing electrical appliances. Items are tested and then given a pass or fail sticker accordingly. There are no specific laws regarding the regularity of PAT testing, but really this should be done at least once a year. Where accidents do occur they should be recorded, whether they were avoidable or not, and whether the business was at fault or not.
This is usually done in the form of an accident book. Accidents can then be reviewed from time to time, patterns established, and actions taken to prevent regular or unnecessary occurrences. It is unacceptable for safety to be at risk due to employees not having the required equipment. If something is required to do the job, then it must be provided with employees trained how to use it in a safe manner.
Any equipment that is not deemed safe for use must be taken out of action immediately prior to an accident, not in response to an accident. Obviously potentially dangerous equipment should only be used with caution and only when absolutely required. Where this is the case precautions must be taken; staff need to be trained to use it adequately and protective clothing must be worn where relevant, for example goggles and safety helmets.
Warning signs should be utilised wherever there is a safety risk so it is clear what people should and shouldn't do and where dangers may present themselves. Training needs to be provided for anything that employees need to do to carry out their job in a safe manner.
Typical examples include training how to lift to avoid injury and how to sit correctly at a desk. These are just some of the more basic precautions and regulations businesses should take. There will be other health and safety issues in additions to these, with the specifics varying from industry to industry.