Good health and safety practise at work is key to running a successful business and maintaining a happy workforce. In addition to this, employers have certain responsibilities to keep their staff and customers safe in the work environment and to ensure risks and hazards are accounted for and minimised as far as possible.
The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) is the main health and safety legislation covering the operation of businesses and is designed to protect employees and visitors whilst on the premises or undertaking work related tasks away from the premises. It also serves to provide a framework from which employers can develop substantial and robust health a safety policies as well as practicing tried and tested methods to improve health and safety at work.
Some of the main focuses of the legislation include ensuring the work environment and any plant or systems in it are well maintained, operated by trained professionals and suitable for the job they are designed to do. Other parts are designed to cover the handling, use and storage of dangerous substances, training of staff to practice good health and safety behaviours and welfare provisions of staff at work.
Good health and safety is not difficult to achieve as much is just common sense. However, using the tools developed to help employers practice good health and safety such as risk assessments, policy templates and training materials will ensure all bases are covered. Many such documents and other useful information is available from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the government body responsible for ensuring UK businesses are complying with current legislation.