Health and safety should always be the number one priority for any business. Not only is it essential to cultivating a happy, robust workforce, it is also the law. Ensuring that your health and safety approach adheres to changes in rules and regulation, especially if your business is in a transitionary state, is a must. Regardless of whether you are a new business, a growing business, or an old hat in the industry that just wants to ensure that their efforts are still enough, there are many different ways to overhaul your health and safety approach in 2022.
Stop Guesswork, Bring the Experts In
Health and safety compliance often ends up at the bottom of your list of priorities when it should be right at the top. A robust health and safety approach can actually work to improve your entire business’s efficiency while simultaneously working to better protect your workers and your business.
If you have made a change to your SME business, are expanding, adapting, or emerging, then your health and safety needs must be handled right the first time. You cannot afford guesswork in this area, nor can you learn while on the go when it means someone’s health is at risk. The good news is that improving health and safety does more than just minimize the risk of danger, and it can actually work to make your entire workforce and business operations more efficient and thus more profitable as a result.
However, to get it right, you will want a professional health and safety report created bespoke for your business. This report will not only outline the issues currently plaguing your business, but will also provide actionable advice on how your business can improve.
It can be expensive (often unnecessarily so) to have a health and safety expert on your team full-time. Outsourcing your health and safety needs and undergoing regular check-ups is a great way to minimize the cost and maximize business safety.
Ask Your Employees
Health and safety goes beyond legal requirements. After all, caring for the wellbeing of your employees is very rarely mandated, and yet is an essential component to ensuring you have a happy workforce.
Asking your employees is a great way to understand the issues that they personally face and what they prioritize. What they believe is important for their health and safety may not be in line with what the government mandates. This doesn’t mean you can ever avoid your legal health and safety responsibilities, but that you should also include your worker’s opinions and work with them to improve health and safety from their viewpoint as well.
Improve Maintenance and Repair
Maintenance, cleanliness, and regular repairs will work to ensure your workplace remains safe but, more importantly, that your machines and equipment continue to work at maximum output for longer. It can be all too easy to become lax on properly maintaining your equipment, especially if the productivity of your machines is not immediately impacted by missing out on a day.
Build in maintenance and cleaning into your worker’s schedule. Every day should include certain levels of repair. On top of these daily improvements, workers should also deep clean and maintain systems once a week or once a month, and regular inspections should be made so that you understand the life cycle of your equipment and its performance. This is how you keep your machinery in good working order and how you minimize health and safety risks.
Always Consider the Full Health and Safety Impact of Your Business
Health and safety goes beyond those in your employment. If your business is causing massive pollution and health and safety risks for those down the supply chain, then you are just as culpable. It is your responsibility to properly vet each supplier in your supply chain and measure your business’s impact on local communities. Gone are the days where this work could be done in secret and avoided because it was technically the responsibility of your supplier and not your business. The world is increasingly environmentally conscious, and global net-zero targets cannot be accomplished when businesses’ supply chains are causing emissions and pollution.
Regularly vetting and inspecting suppliers secretly or without forewarning can help businesses identify when and where issues in their supply chain are forming. With this preventative approach, you can improve your business’ sustainability and reduce health and safety risks for all involved with your business, keeping everyone safe in the process.