Make safety your New Year resolution

As we start a fresh year, you may be making a New Year resolution for your business. Maybe you want to provide better customer service or make more profit. But really, what better area is there for a business to make a New Year resolution in than health and safety? No-one wants an employee or customer to be hurt or injured on their premises. What’s more, the Health & Safety Executive reports that the annual cost of workplace self-reported injuries and ill health is around £15bn, so it’s definitely worth improving your health and safety procedures as part of your New Year plan. Here are just a few steps to consider.

Reassess accident, injury and illness rates for the previous year

How are you doing? Could you improve? Were there workplace injuries and illnesses that occurred this year that could have been prevented? Do you need to train staff better, run awareness caAdd Newmpaigns, or invest in new health and safety equipment for your workplace for the coming year?

Review your risk assessments

Risk assessments are not a ‘once and done’ activity, it is recommended that risk assessments and policies should be reviewed annually as a minimum. The start of a new year is a great time to update risk assessments, and see if there is anything more that you could be doing, in any area. This is particularly important if there have been any significant changes to a particular department or procedure, and also if your workforce has grown.

Organisations with less than 5 employees should also document risk assessments – without documenting how would a business prove it has managed the safety of employees and others? You can sign up for free Legislation updates from the HSE.

Review health and safety policies

Written health and safety policies are a requirement in any business with five or more employees. You probably have one, but you may not have reviewed it in a long time. You might want to check that it still makes sense for your business, especially if you’ve seen a lot of changes this year.

Stay up to date with legislation changes

You should, of course, stay up to date with any legislation changes that affect you as they happen, but the New Year is a good time to review new legislation that has come in this year, and any that are expected in the near future. Double-check that you’ve made any necessary changes to respond to recent legislation, and that you’re prepared for any due to come in soon.

Provide training for managers and staff

Employee training is at the heart of a robust and successful health and safety programme. It’s no good having great policies and state-of-the-art health and safety equipment if no-one is familiar with them and trained in their use. Review training records and see if there are staff who still need basic training, or could undergo more training to make your workplace safer.

Get employees on board

Health and safety procedures are there to benefit your staff, so get them on board by ensuring that their workplace is safe and healthy. Make sure that health and safety training stresses the benefits to employees, and encourage them to not only incorporate best practices into their daily activities but also be proactive about bringing forward any potential issues or possible improvements. A health and safety New Year resolution doesn’t have to be complicated. Take some time to make a few that you know you can stick to.

Disclaimer: The information provided through Legislation Watch is for general guidance only and is not legal advice. Legislation Watch is not a substitute for Health and Safety consultancy. You should seek independent advice about any legal matter.

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