Ensuring Your Business Has Safe Working Practices

business safe working practices

Running a business can be a fun experience, but there is a lot of factors that managing directors, supervisors and managers must take into consideration to ensure their business runs efficiently and most importantly, safely. While certain working locations have a much lower risk than others, such as offices and retail locations, there are still risks associated that need to be addressed, especially as your staffing numbers grow. 

Creating A Risk Assessment 

Before you can implement safety guides and working practices, you first need to perform a risk assessment for each of your roles and responsibilities. To perform a risk assessment, you need to identify the hazards associated with the role, for example; 

- Office Workers - Are at risk of straining their backs and eyes when working for long periods of time at a computer without the necessary set-up. 

- Trade Workers - Are at risk of causing harm when working with tools, working in people’s homes or require additional safety equipment for working in unsafe situations – at height, around dangerous equipment or working with gas or electricity. 

- Retail Workers - Are at risk from strains and injuries when lifting or moving heavy stock or when standing on their feet all day at the point of sales. 

With all the individual risks in your business identified, you need to consider who is most at risk from these hazards and the extent of the risk, is it likely to cause serious harm or would it simply be an inconvenience? 

With the risk detailed and the potential harm it could cause, finally you can act on your risk assessment and either put in place regulations to manage the risk or preferably, eliminate the risk. Where it’s not possible to remove the hazard or risk, safety equipment needs to be provided to ensure workers minimize the likelihood of them coming to harm or worse. 

business safe workplace office safety tips

Eliminating Risks In The Workplace 

There are plenty of options for reducing risks in the workplace and while it can be frustrating trying to implement and maintain rules in the workplace, they are important to ensure the ongoing safely of both staff and customers. Reducing or eliminating risks doesn’t always require expensive equipment or long weeks of training but can be as simple as reducing the height of storage shelves and providing additional seating at point of sale areas. 

- Office Workers: Risk can be reduced by ensuring new workers know the recommendations for their workstation, ensuring their monitor is at eye-level, their forearms sit straight on the desk and their shoulders relaxed. Chairs should offer enough back support to prevent back strain and reminders to take visual breaks (20-20-20 rule of staring 20 feet, for 20 seconds every 20 minutes) to prevent eye strain and aches. 

- Trade Workers: Correct training should be provided with qualifications gained for working with unsafe materials including gas and electricity. When working at height, the correct equipment should be provided, and equipment should be well-maintained and regularly serviced. Height training should be offered from a qualified training centre. You can find your nearest centre with a 

Google search with the required qualification and your closest town, for example IPAF training Newcastle or PASMA training Tyne and Wear. 

- Retail Workers: Regular breaks should be offered for retail workers that spend most of the day on their feet in order to reduce back and leg strain. Seating should be provided around till areas to offset workers that are required to stand and serve all day and correct training offered for lifting heavy boxes and moving stock. 

Safe working practices aren’t just in place for businesses and companies with a certain number of employees but apply to the whole working force, from independent freelance and self-employed workers to large corporations with thousands of employees around the world. 

Don’t take the risk with unsafe working practices, perform a risk assessment for your business today and make your work place a safer place for all.

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