Developing A Workplace Safety Plan: Where To Begin
As a business owner, ensuring safety in the workplace should be one of your top priorities.
Creating a safety plan that addresses the specific challenges faced by your business is essential.
If you are unsure where to start, here are a few key steps you can take to develop a safety plan for your business while taking your employees’ needs into consideration.
1. Identify hazards
Identifying safety hazards in your workplace is the first step in creating a safety plan.
Safety risks will vary depending on the type of business you run.
For example, if you run a manufacturing plant, your employees may be at risk of being exposed to hazardous chemicals or machinery.
Alternatively, if you run a retail store, your employees may be at risk of slip and fall incidents, especially if they handle heavy items.
It’s essential to evaluate the hazards in your business and ensure that your employees understand how to identify risks and protect themselves from injury. Even if something appears insignificant now, it can still develop into a bigger problem in the future.
* In a restaurant, common hazards may include slippery floors, sharp knives, hot surfaces, and heavy lifting.
In an office, common hazards may include poor ergonomics, tripping hazards, and electrical hazards.
If you operate a business that deals with the public (shops, restaurants, photography studios, beauty salons etc), it’s likely you need Public Liability Insurance that will cover you for claims made against you for injuries/death or property damage caused by your commercial activities.
2. Conduct risk assessments
Conducting regular risk assessments is an essential part of your safety plan.
A risk assessment helps you identify potential hazards and evaluate the level of risk associated with them.
For example, a COSHH assessment (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) focuses on the risks associated with hazardous substances in the workplace. By conducting regular risk assessments, you can identify potential hazards before they become a problem and take steps to prevent accidents from happening.
At HS Direct, you can find a range of COSHH assessment templates, that are designed to support your business in dealing with hazardous chemicals. You can get templates for diesel, tarmac, silicone sealants, and others. The tailored assessments at HS Direct will help you prevent or reduce your workers’ exposure to these hazardous substances.
* In a manufacturing plant, a risk assessment may be conducted to identify hazards associated with using heavy machinery or hazardous chemicals.
* In an office, a risk assessment may be conducted to identify hazards associated with computer use, such as poor ergonomics or eye strain.
3. Train employees
Training employees is one of the best strategies to ensure that employees are prepared for potential safety risks.
Providing your employees with various learning and development opportunities will teach them how to react when problems arise, stay calm and act quickly in an emergency, and prevent accidents from happening in the first place.
To help your team stay safe at work can offer a manual handling training program that teaches workers current best practices in a safe and engaging way. This training will help you minimise the number of injuries at work leading to less unnecessary costs and waisted time.
By being more cautious and proactive in their roles, they can help prevent accidents and injuries.
* In a restaurant, employees may receive training on how to handle hot surfaces and sharp knives, how to lift heavy objects safely, and how to prevent slip and fall incidents.
* In an office, employees may receive training on ergonomics, computer safety, and emergency procedures.
4. Ensure transparency
Communication is crucial in any business environment, and transparency is essential when it comes to safety planning.
When implementing new procedures or introducing new equipment, it’s important to speak to your employees about your ideas, ask for their opinions and concerns, and ensure that every employee in your company is familiar with your safety plan and how it relates to their specific role.
This will help avoid confusion and misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to safety.
* In a manufacturing plant, employees may be informed about new safety equipment and procedures related to the use of heavy machinery or hazardous chemicals.
* In an office, employees may be informed about new safety equipment and procedures related to computer use or emergency procedures.
Read more about questions to ask yourself before starting a business.