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Health and safety requirements for new businesses

4 min read

11 September 2019

When starting a business there are many different things to consider, from where your premises will be, to how many staff and what positions you hire first.

While these are necessary steps, it’s also vital to consider health and safety procedures for your business prior to starting.

It’s not only good practice to have health and safety strategies in place, it is also the law, so it’s important to be clear on procedures before you begin trading. Here we will cover just some of the top health and safety requirements to consider when starting your business.

Risk assessments

Prior to opening your doors for business, it is important to highlight any potential hazards which could cause injury within the workplace. These should be outlined within a thorough risk assessment undertaken by a health and safety officer. Should there be any hazards in the workplace, appropriate controls should be put in place such as displaying safety signs from Reece Safety, to ensuring people are aware of any potential risks. 

Other controls such as creating access-only areas, utilising high-visibility paint, implementing personal protective equipment and ensuring that all workers have been made aware of potential hazards during a walkthrough, will all help to protect your employees. 

Policies

Creating written policies can be the most effective way of ensuring both employees and visitors alike are aware of the workplace health and safety procedures. The policy should include the commitment you as a business intend to make to manage health and safety, the  responsibilities of both the business and staff, and what your actions will be to alleviate health and safety risks. 

The health and safety written policy should be regularly reviewed to ensure it is up to date and in line with current risk assessments. All staff should be made aware of any updates to this policy. 

Insurance 

Being properly protected by insurance is important for covering your business should an accident or injury occur as a result of someone’s job, culminating in compensation claims. Liability insurance is essential for business owners, and will help to protect your business. This should be set up prior to any work being undertaken on your premises. 

The law

Compliance regulations are in place to protect your employees, visitors and premises from potential hazards. Ensuring your business is legally compliant will not only protect your business physically but also ensure you don’t face fines or potential prosecution. 

Prior to opening your doors, you should ensure that your business is registered with the relevant authorities and that you, or a trained professional working for you, has a full understanding of the laws and regulations which are applicable for your business. Hiring outside professional help for this may be necessary, as the laws can be complex and vast. 

Delegate tasks 

It is important to delegate health and safety roles within your business to the appropriate people and ensure that full training is provided at regular intervals. Whether this entails training an in-house health and safety officer, or hiring externally, it is vital that the role is delegated to a specific person or team. This delegation will help to ensure that health and safety is kept at the forefront of your business. 

Starting a business can be overwhelming with the amount of organisation and dedication required, but as important as it is to get your business up and running, health and safety should also be one of your first considerations.

These are just some of the health and safety considerations when starting a business, but there are many more which are equally as important, to ensure your business is both compliant within the law, and a safe place to work.