What health and safety requirements are there in the workplace?

February 3rd, 2018
Health and Safety

Looking after your staff is a key consideration for any business – and the workplace itself has a big role to play in that. The environment that you create for those who work for you needs to be designed for efficiency and safety. From a staff perspective, and from a business point of view, health and safety in the workplace is crucial.

Why is health and safety at work a necessity for any business?

It may seem like the last thing on the list compared to productivity, growth and profit. However, health and safety needs to be high on the list for any workplace for a number of very important reasons.

• Staff retention – if your health and safety record takes a dip then you’re likely to see an increase in attrition rates.
• Business reputation – you might experience issues with customers and clients if they know you’re not operating safely.
• The bottom line – problems with health and safety hold up productivity and make it more difficult for staff to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.
• Reducing the chance of accidents – accidents can leave you with legal action being taken against you, or significant compensation claims, not to mention brand damage. Your staff and customers should be protected at all times to minimize the risk of injury.
• Legal fees and other costs – poor health and safety could mean your business is constantly fighting court claims and facing increased insurance premiums.

What health and safety considerations are there?

Slips and trips. Health and safety issues that cause slips and trips account for a third of all major workplace accidents. Preventing slips and trips means assessing the risks in your individual workplace and potentially making changes to lighting and flooring for example, to avoid any incidents in the future. It’s important to have a strict policy on spillages, cleaning and footwear too, especially in a setting like a pub where drinks are likely to be spilled.

Physical handling. Staff involved in manual work, such as lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling, can get injured very easily. A health and safety assessment must be carried out to identify the risks that employees face when handling objects, like barrels of drinks within the pub and entertainment sector.

Repetitive strain. Everything, from hand held tools to assembly line work, can cause repetitive strain. You are required to take steps to reduce the risks of injury from repetitive work. This is not just relevant to desk jobs, but also to photographers and independent businesses where the same physical movements are being made regularly.

Computers. Long and uninterrupted periods in front of a computer screen can be very problematic for staff health. Eye strain, headaches, backaches and upper limb disorders are all common. There is a legal duty on employers to take steps to reduce the risks for staff working with display screen equipment.

These are just a few of the ways in which health and safety can impact on the modern workplace. In addition to taking steps to reduce health and safety risks at work, take a look at our range of insurance products to help give your business the protection it needs for the risks you can’t always predict.

Find out more about how the right business insurance can best protect your business, by giving Morgan Richardson a call today.