Business Law & Compliance

How safe is your business?

5 min read

29 July 2015

Is your workplace equipped to handle an emergency? Defibshop identifies the key points to consider when looking after the health and safety of your employees.

It’s often easy to obsess over the facts and figures of it all when running a business. Yet your employees are one of your company’s greatest assets, and looking after them should be a priority.

Ensuring adequate measures are in place in the event of an emergency is paramount to helping your employees feel confident in their workplace environment, while helping avoid costly claims should an injury or incident occur for which your business would be liable.

Maintaining a safe workplace means being fully prepared for all eventualities, from keeping a fully stocked first aid kit on-site to implementing a plan of action in case of emergencies. Ensuring a workplace is safe and secure will also instil confidence in employees, resulting in an engaged and satisfied workforce – which will help your business grow from strength to strength.

What do I have to provide as an employer?

All businesses have to comply with health and safety regulations. The health and safety laws in the UK are in place to protect both employees and employers – adhering to them will ensure that your business is safe and well placed to handle any emergencies that may arise.

The right course of care and action is determined by the size of your business and the level of risk involved in your work. Failing to follow the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 can lead to costly mistakes and legal action that could result in the loss of your business.

UK health and safety law states that organisations must:

  • Determine the risks posed to employees, customers and any individuals with the potential to be affected by business activities;
  • Implement, maintain and monitor preventive and protective measures;
  • If the business employs five or more people, a written health and safety policy must be put in place; and
  • Consult and involve employees with the current policy to ensure they are happy with the level of care and feel assured that their wellbeing is looked after.

First aid

First aid is required in every workplace, and the level to which first aiders must be qualified is dependent on the size of the workforce or the risks involved in employment. Equipping your premises with suitable supplies and clear guidelines to handle any accidents or incidents at work will not only provide adequate care for your employees, but make them feel valued as well. Neglecting first aid can be a costly mistake to make that could leave you liable for legal action should an accident occur.

The following requirements are applicable to all places of employment, whether you have less than five members of staff or you’re self employed:

  • A well-stocked first aid kit;
  • An appointed person to take charge of first aid arrangements and care; and
  • Information and resources for employees about first aid arrangements.

Is your business prepared for emergencies?

The first five minutes after an accident are the most crucial when saving a life and preventing serious implications in later life. It is therefore crucial that your staff know how to handle an emergency situation.

Whilst providing basic first aid knowledge is sufficient, it is wise to take health and safety to the next level with specialised medical action and equipment on your business premises.

Training your staff to act promptly and having the proper medical equipment such as a defibrillator on-site could be the difference between life and death. Every minute a victim of sudden cardiac arrest goes without care, their chance of survival is reduced by ten per cent, so equipping your business with the knowledge they need in order to act quickly is crucial.

Prepare your business

Not having the right procedures in place can be a costly and potentially fatal mistake to make, as well as devastating. Educating employees and having the right equipment on-site are important and necessary steps to take to create a safe workplace that your staff is happy to work in.

As an employer, it is important to ensure that health and safety procedures are not overlooked in your business, as it can have severe consequences that your company may not recover from.

Niamh Spence is a content writer for defibshop.co.uk.