If there’s one page in our Essential Business Guide that epitomises why we created the book in the first place, it’s probably page 157: Checklist: Make your workplace safe.
As business owners, we all have a legal responsibility for the health and safety of our employees and anyone else who may be affected by our businesses, such as customers. But there’s so much we need to know, and it can be hard to keep on top of it all. So, we wanted to create an ‘at a glance’ checklist, for busy business owners.
That’s the first part, the second part is that you need to do the work! There’s no saying, ‘Oh, I didn’t know that’ or ‘I’m too busy – I’ll get round to it later’ – this is a legal responsibility (at least, it is in the UK) and if you don’t do it, you’re liable.
Marianne and I don’t want you to get into ‘hot water’ because you haven’t taken care of everything you should have, so here’s the list reproduced from the Guide, with our compliments. We’ve even added some little tick boxes so that you can keep track of what you have and haven’t done. Get ticking!
Checklist: Make your workplace safe
Does your workplace provide:
A safe place of work and safe access to and exit from that workplace?
Access points and paths leading up to your premises that are safe, with handrails that are secure?
Adequate welfare facilities including toilet and washing facilities, lighting, and the maintenance of a reasonable room temperature?
Have you displayed, within your work premises:
An employers’ liability compulsory insurance certificate?
The Health & Safety Law – What You Should Know poster (available from HSE books on 01787 881165)?
Have you provided:
A first aid kit and an accident book?
The correct number and type of fire extinguishers?
An evacuation procedure to follow in case of fire?
Free health and safety training for your workers so they know what hazards and risks they may face and how to deal with them?
A written health and safety policy (if you have five or more workers), which lists the safety arrangements and the people responsible for carrying them out?
The opportunity for your employees to be consulted on health and safety matters?
Have you appointed:
Someone to help you meet the requirements of health and safety law? (You must by law report some work-related accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences.)
A responsible employee as a health and safety officer?
At least one person who has been appropriately trained in first aid and who is responsible for first aid policy?
Someone to be responsible for the supervision of young workers/trainees?
Have you obtained:
The correct number and type of safety signs and put them up?
A fire certificate?
Information about assessing risk within your workplace – and then actually done the work?
Have you clearly marked:
The fire escape routes and fire exits? Virtually all employers have a legal obligation to carry out a fire risk assessment.
How did you do?
If you’ve scored badly in the checklist, the Health & Safety Executive is a good place to go for information. It has workplace contact officers who can visit your business to provide information and advice.