If you are moving into a new business premises, this is an exciting milestone because a new space can give you room to expand and improve your business in so many different ways. But of course, relocating is a massive undertaking, and you need to ensure that your commercial property is above board and up to code. There’s a lot of responsibilities to ensure that, from the health and safety perspective, your business remains compliant, and therefore, addressing some of the following are more than necessary:
There’s a variety of hazardous materials that employees could come into contact with, for example, bleach or chemicals. But there are also other hazardous materials that may already be part of the building, for example, asbestos. You can encounter asbestos in roofing sheets that over time can become more brittle and create a risk of these fibres being let loose into the air, putting employees at risk. There are tactics you can utilise to assess the quality of your roof, for example, drone roof surveys, but you must also make your employees aware of potential hazards and the rules and regulations of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH), which you can find out more about through the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) website.
Business employers have a duty of care to ensure that gas appliances are installed and maintained safely. Gas supplies should be inspected on a regular basis, and any gas leaks or issues must be reported to the gas supplier. Gas appliances need to be maintained and inspected by a Gas Safe engineer. There are a variety of local and national contractors that can help.
Fire Safety Concerns
Of course, in the workplace, fire safety is a more prominent component of health and safety. We see fire exits clearly labelled, and some employees are trained in fire safety. It is vital to conduct regular fire risk assessments and train staff on fire safety within the workplace, for example, how to operate fire extinguishers. Fire prevention equipment, such as alarms and fire extinguishers, must be regularly inspected.
Your business premises will not be able to operate without electricity, and therefore, it’s essential to make sure that your electrical devices are safe. The electrical items should be inspected every five years to prevent danger and to identify any potential problems. It is also important to arrange inspections according to the device in question, for example, an air conditioning unit will require its own specialised inspection.
Moving into a new business premises can be incredibly advantageous, but it’s important to remember that many businesses that upgrade from either a remote setting or a smaller office can face new challenges when it comes to health and safety compliance, and smaller companies can make many mistakes, therefore your business should be operating with a safety-first mindset, not just to comply with rules and regulations but in order to prevent accidents in the workplace and potentially avoid the worst case scenarios that could cause major problems to your organisation.