All business owners are legally responsible for their employees’ health and safety during work hours, as well as the impact of their products and services on customers and other end-users. If you run a private business, there are quite a few health, safety, and environmental regulations you have to follow to avoid paying fees or complete shutdown. Health, safety, and environmental responsibility regulations are for the most part straightforward, and observing them usually means just applying common sense. Still, it may be a good idea to take a quick look at the following 5 points and make sure you’re up-to-date with the most important legal standards as regards health, the environment, and safety.
Get a License
There are many new business owners out there who aren’t aware of the fact that they have to register their business with Health & Safety Executive (HSE) or the local authority. It’s very important to register your business prior to launching operation, especially if hazardous materials like asbestos or poisons are going to be used on the commercial property. A license that allows you to handle hazardous materials is an absolute must for companies where workflow involves daily use of toxic substances and chemicals. If there are some other potentially dangerous materials your employees may be required to use in their line of work, you can contact local authorities and check whether a license is necessary.
Think About Environmental Damage
Companies are responsible for any environmental damage made in their line of work. There are certain fines you’ll have to pay if you fail to follow all the regulations concerning your business’ environmental impact. One of the most important things a business owner has to do is make sure that all waste matter is suitably packaged and safely stored. You can also contact professionals who can help you dispose of the waste in the best possible ways. If you decide to enlist expert assistance in waste disposal, try to find a company legally authorized for such tasks. Noise and hazardous gases are one more pollutant every company has to be very careful about.
Carry Out Risk Assessments
Another thing you’ll have to do as a business owner is make sure your premises comply with valid health and safety standards. That’s why carrying out risk assessments before launching production is of vital importance. Cables, spills, or loose tiles that might cause an employee or a customer to trip, fall, or slip should be dealt with without delay. Some other points you should also bear in mind include exposure to hazardous substances, fire risks, and moving vehicles. For companies that have more than 5 employees, all of the risk assessments will have to be put down in writing.
Think About Your Employees’ Health
When running a business, your employees’ health is another matter you need to take seriously. It’s up to you to provide your employees with clean toilets, adequate ventilation, sufficient space, and fresh drinking water. You should also pay close attention to the office hygiene. The best way to tackle this task is to hire a professional cleaning service which will make sure your office is sparkling clean 24/7. Another big trend today is to provide your employees with locker rooms and relaxation areas. These cool extra features will make employees both safer and happier in the long run.
Prepare for Potential Incidents
Another thing a business owner is responsible for is preparing the employees for any kind of serious workplace incidents. This means having fire extinguishers and first aid kits visibly displayed in the office. There should also be a system that will report any serious incidents in the office as soon as they occur. You should also make sure there’s a clearly marked evacuation diagram which employees and customers can follow in case of any serious incident. Hiring someone who will organize safety trainings for the employees and prepare them for any critical situations is also advisable for businesses in high-risk industries.
Make sure you’ve tackled these critical safety and health points before you open for business. That way, your employees and customers will be 100% safe on the premises, and your corporate environmental responsibility will stay off the radar.