Start-up businesses tend to have a lot on their plate from the get-go, but that doesn’t mean health and safety measures should ever fall by the wayside. In fact, they are absolutely essential!
Starting up a business from scratch is far from simple. Before you even start to think about how the business is going to be profitable, there are countless administrative hoops to leap through and commercial pitfalls to avoid – all of which can catch the uninitiated out.
On that note, the words ‘health’ and ‘safety’ strike fear into business owners up and down the country for a reason. If a start-up business fails to invest the right amount of time and energy into implementing appropriate health and safety measures, the consequences can be devastating.
So, if you want your start up business to avoid having to consult business defence lawyers after a health and safety breach, this post should come in handy. Here, we’ll be delving into the most important health and safety measures any start up business should be prioritising. Let’s get started!
8 Health and Safety Measures for Start-Up Businesses
- Draft a Health and Safety Policy
First things first – your start-up business is going to need to have a health and safety policy in place. This absolutely imperative as, not only will it direct your businesses’ general approach to health and safety, but it is also a legal requirement! And getting on the wrong side of the law isn’t exactly going to set the right sort of tone for your business moving forwards, is it?
A health and safety policy will also explain how you, as an employer, will manage health and safety in the workplace and who is responsible for taking certain actions.
- Carry Out an Initial Risk Assessment
Every type of business will have its own unique set of health and safety risks that need to be carefully managed. Just because your business is going to be confined to a traditional office, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a range of potential hazards that could harm your employees and visitors.
If you complete a health and safety risk assessment, you’ll be able to account for every potential issue that could occur in your workplace. As a result, you will be better equipped to prevent anyone from coming to harm.
- Have a Designated Health and Safety Officer
As a start-up business, staying on top of all of your health and safety obligations can be a challenge. That’s why you would be well advised to appoint yourself, or one of your employees, as a designated health and safety officer.
A health and safety officer will have full responsibility for making sure that all procedures are followed closely, resolving any potential risks as they crop up. The chances of an accident are likely to be significantly reduced, which is exactly what we’re looking for.
- Set up Training Sessions for Staff
Granted, as a start-up business, you might not have a large pool of employees – it might just be you and a couples of others to start with. That being said, even if you just have one employee to start with, you need to make sure that they are fully health and safety trained. You can’t expect your employees to be well-versed in their health and safety obligations if they aren’t well trained, can you?
So, make sure that you offer sessions that cover issues likely to affect everyone in the business. Also, think about offering one-to-one training for individuals who will be handling specific equipment on a daily basis.
- Put Equipment Checks in Place
The equipment you use in your start-up business will have a shelf life, which means it will become worn over time. This can pose a significant health and safety risk if it is not fixed or replaced.
Depending on the type of equipment, and the potential health and safety risk it poses, checks may be required every time it is used. So, you’d be well advised to have a schedule in place for checking the equipment your business uses.
- Get the Right Insurance
Being properly protected by insurance is very important for covering your start-up business in the event that an accident or injury occurs in the workplace.
Even if you’ve taken every possible precaution and your business follows strict health and safety procedures, there may be certain accidents that are unavoidable. Employer’s liability insurance can cover any medical bills and legal fees that may arise from a claim following a workplace injury.
- Provide a Straightforward Reporting Process
Workplace accidents, no matter how seemingly minor, need to be properly reported, so that the chances of it being repeated can be significantly reduced.
But there’s no use having a complicated reporting process that no one understands, is there? If that’s the case, then accidents are only likely to go unreported. Instead, have a straightforward reporting process that’s simple to use for all of your employees.
- Create a Pre-Placement Physical
What sort of work will your employees be carrying out at your start-up business? If they’re going to be crunching numbers behind a desk, then a standard interview will probably suffice. But, if their role is a physical one, then you’ll want to be sure they’re up to the task.
It’s a good idea to have pre-placement physicals in place as a part of your recruiting process. This way, you know employees in these sorts of roles won’t be a danger to themselves and their fellow employees when they’re going about their day-to-day duties.
Is Your Start Up Business Health and Safety Prepared?
In this post, we’ve covered some of the main measures your start up business will need to consider when it comes to health and safety.
The best piece of general advice you should keep in mind is that you can never be too safe – if you think you’re going overboard when it comes to health and safety, that’s never going to be a bad thing. After all, you want your business to, well, stay in business!
Have you got any more questions regarding health and safety for start-up businesses? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!