Whether you’re in a management position with a multi-million pound (or dollar) corporation, or whether you own a small business that employs only a handful of staff, health and safety should rank high on your priority list, and not only because of legal obligations.
It is unfortunate that many employers do not consider Health and Safety to be a pressing issue. There seems to be the mentality that it doesn’t matter if an employee suffers an injury at work as the business does have adequate insurance in place, should that employee decide to sue you in court, which they more than likely will do.
The point of the matter is that the effects of that original negligent act can be far reaching. The injured employee may not be able to continue with the same career path and could therefore be left jobless, which may affect their personal life should they have a mortgage or rent to pay. Then there is also the issue of dependencies, i.e. children/partner/spouse/parents who rely on the income from the employee.
Ironic, because the accident most probably could have been prevented at a very low cost.
In a perfect world, business owners and all companies would put the welfare of their employees first, but unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world, especially when one considers just how “profit driven” the business world really is.
This is exactly why past governments introduced legislation regarding health and safety. One of these requirements involves carrying out a regular health and safety risk assessment. These assessments can be done by the business owner, any designated employee or employees, or else by way of a third party firm specialising in this field.
While there are no real hard and fast rules pertaining to the actual minimum requirements or standards, it is every employer’s responsibility to ensure their assessments are at least worth something. Inspectors who may call to see your company can and will make recommendations if they feel more could have been done, but that’s basically where it ends. Should you choose to ignore such advice, and something does go wrong, full responsibility lies with you the business owner, rather than with any inspector. Also, if a court decides your company’s health and safety risk assessment was inadequate, your insurance company may be closing their door in your face.
To put it mildly, health and safety is a serious issue, and it needs to be viewed as such. If a business is small enough to justify doing their own assessments, or perhaps get one of their staff members to do them, then at the very least they should make sure suitable training is provided.
This article was provided by http://www.safetywearworld.co.uk/. Safety Wear World has written numerous articles on home improvement, DIY and health and safety in the workplace.
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