Top Health & Safety Tips for New Business Startups
When you’re establishing a new business, there’s a whole plethora of important elements to consider, alongside your regular working activities. This is why it’s essential to ensure that health and safety is also integral to your planning when getting a new business up and running. These are some key tips for vital elements to keep in mind.
Provide first aid training & support
While not every kind of job or workplace is dangerous, employers have a legal and moral obligation to ensure they have practical ways to respond quickly, in the event of accidents and injuries. Having designated first aiders available at all times can make all the difference, whether it’s a minor incident or even a medical emergency, so long as they’re suitably prepared. Just as importantly, the right first aid equipment should be both available and easily located in the workplace.
There are also additional benefits to ensuring employees receive first aid training. Establishing a good first aid system will help increase awareness of potential hazards and risks in the workplace, meaning those risks are subsequently minimized. Regular training ensures that everyone is safer in their jobs and can also help build morale when training becomes a group activity, with every employee participating. It’s also an additional skill that benefits employees.
Keep detailed records of incidents
In the event of incidents, it is vital to have some way of recording exactly what happened, which is the purpose of having an accident book or reporting system available in the workplace. This serves as documentation recording any and all kinds of incidents, from those causing injury or illness in the workplace to breakages of equipment that could potentially cause harm if not fixed or replaced. Suitable procedures for reporting incidents are also a legal requirement.
When something happens, whether it’s a minor or major incident, exact details can be entered by both employees and employers. This can highlight who was affected and why, when the incident occurred and what happened, where it took place. Such information can be very important for claims by employees or clients, not to mention useful records that can help employers take appropriate action to avoid further incidents.
Undertake regular risk assessments
Always a key aspect of any health and safety program in the workplace, undertaking regular risk assessments should be part of the day to day routine. Indeed, undertaking risk assessments is a requirement for every business and in most states throughout the US, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will sometimes perform visits themselves, to ensure working environments meet their regulations and requirements.
Risk assessments can be multi-faceted, forming an integral part of the occupational health and safety management plan for your business. Amongst other things, they can help create awareness of hazards and risks associated with your activity and workplace. Knowing who is at risk is just as important, whether it’s employees, clients, contractors or even the general public. Careful evaluation of risks will help promote awareness and establish suitable controls.
Obtain suitable general liability insurance cover
No matter how carefully you run your new business, aiming to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as clockwork, there’s always a good chance that accidents and incidents may happen at some point. That’s why it’s important to ensure that your business is suitably protected by having the right kind of insurance policies to support your activities.
While there are various kinds of policies available, general liability insurance for business can help ensure you’re covered for a variety of different accidents in the workplace, either to employees or other people visiting your premises. Likewise, it ensures you’re covered in the event of property damage or physical harm to others, which is particularly important if claims are made against your business.
Clearly visible signs and labels
Suitable warning signs and labels identifying hazardous materials and equipment, along with at-risk locations, are legally required in most states. Just as important is ensuring employees and visitors understand what they mean, creating and improving safety awareness around the workplace. Safety signs and labels are a vital way of communicating information about a variety of hazards and risks, typically with pictures and images, sometimes more detailed instructions. These can correspond to anything from highlighting potentially dangerous equipment and materials, inform people of safety clothing that must be worn at a location, to simply let employees and visitors that the cleaner has just mopped the floor.
There are plenty of other ways to ensure that your new business is a safe environment, therefore it’s always good advice to check local government regulations, including those of OSHA and other organizations which regulate workplace safety. Just like any other element of your business, good health and safety planning and preparation is everything.