Top 5 common health and safety mistakes to avoid in your office

The health and safety at work act 1974 has been put in place to ensure workers, sub-contractors, customers and members of the public are safe and protected when in contact with your business. As a business you have a duty to ensure health and safety is adhered to. After all, illness, injury and death could be the result if you don’t. The last thing you want as an employer is to be taken to court over not putting adequate measures in place.

The cost of not following the regulations is increased staff turnover and usually a drop in profits. Here are our top 5 health and safety mistakes to avoid in your office:

1. Not following the correct government guidelines for Covid-19 safety

With guidelines changing as the r-number increases and decreases, it’s easy to slip into old habits. We would recommend carrying out a covid-19 risk assessment to ensure you minimise the risk of catching Covid. As a business you are responsible for putting these policies in place to protect you and your staff.

2. Not having someone in charge of health and safety

You need to place someone in charge of your fire safety as well as health and safety in order to comply with the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Fire Safety Reform Order 2005. This person needs to be fully trained and reliable as they will be responsible for ensuring the safety of your team. It’s a good idea to get external support to help deliver this training and to prove their competence.

When selecting this person, it’s important to ask yourself if; they are a natural problem solver, calm under pressure and knowledgeable in health and fire safety?

3. Not investing in valuable staff training

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires you (the business) to provide the necessary information, training and supervision deemed applicable to your employees. These training sessions enable your team to be effective and decisive should a crisis occur. Training should be provided to all new employees, and this should be standard as part of their induction process.

Investing the time to properly train your employees will stand you in good stead for the future. Accidents will be dealt with swiftly and appropriately giving your business a better reputation.

4. Not investing in fire safety

Fire safety is an integral part of your employees training. Each worker should know where the fire exits are and what the procedure is should the worst occur. This fire safety procedure should form part of your new starters’ induction, so all members of staff know how to act to avoid putting more lives in danger.

The person in charge of your health and safety should also have the relevant training in fire safety. Each employee should know common fire hazards and how these could be prevented as many employees overlook fire safety within the workplace.

5. Not providing enough visuals and instructions

Communication is key for all aspects of your business including health and safety. It’s crucial to have enough visual aids as things can become noisy should the worst occur. You should invest in signs, labels, floor markings and lights to ensure you’re adhering to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. These signs and instructions need to be simple and effective, there’s no need to over complicate a set of standard, universally known symbols and guidelines.

As a business it’s important to prioritise health and safety in the workplace to ensure your workplace is a safe, happy and healthy environment. These key mistakes are easily avoidable through increased training and a dedicated member of staff. Should you need any help or advice when it comes to risk assessments or training, our team of HR advisers can help! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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