People keep saying that the world has gone health and safety mad. It’s unsurprising really – following large numbers of legal battles in America, everyone jumped on the bandwagon and it became extremely important that businesses became vigilant and take steps to eliminate risks to their staff and visitors.
But despite this fact, it seems as though many companies still neglect even the most basic health and safety requirements. Sometimes it is due to negligence, but more often it is due to lack of knowledge. Health and safety is a rather expansive area of legal requirements for businesses, and as a company gets larger it can be harder and harder to maintain certain standards. But as we mentioned before, it is increasingly important that levels of health and safety are maintained, because nowadays a court case is only part of your concerns – various regulation bodies are more than happy to close you down or hand you a rather large fine.
So short of going on a course to learn every aspect of health and safety, what is the best way to keep up with the growing demands of the health and safety world?
You’ll often hear people saying that health and safety is all just common sense, which, to a certain extent, is true. Sadly you’ll be surprised at just how many of your employees, who are otherwise very intelligent, seem to lack common sense.
What health and safety really is, at its essence, is risk management. You are ensuring that your place of work is safe to work in, and by analysing the potential for a problem in all areas of your work place you can quickly eliminate any issues. One of the best ways to prevent problems once you’ve identified and isolated a potential risk is through signage.
Signage is an excellent method of reminding staff about their initial training, in which you cover all the elements of health and safety within your company, and even help them to recognise risks.
Signage is a simple, cheap and effective way to ensure that you are health and safety proofed. In fact, signage is one of the most important elements required by regulators. Signage is a good way to remind staff about the safety precautions that they need to take whilst performing their duties.
Plans and Checks
Some people don’t read signs. We can’t be certain why, but, for whatever reason, even big signs with bold words and big red symbols don’t catch the attention of some workers. So, it is important that when placing signs up, you ensure that your staff are aware of the signs. You don’t need to hold their hands as they read it, of course, but it is important that they are aware of it, just as they should be aware of a health and safety book, including injury forms and a the location of first aid kits, fire exits and fire hydrants. These are all important in the event of an emergency.
Once you have all these things in place and you have notified your staff about the location and proper use of all these items and pieces of signage, it is important that you check knowledge and continue to check that the proper procedures are being followed.
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Today’s visiting author is Martyn Lloyd, the Director for health and safety sign supplier – Cube Safety Signs. Martyn has a wealth of experience in the industry and thinks it is important for SME’s to do regular health and safety checks.