Health and safety at work: a basic guide
What steps must an employer take to ensure they comply with the laws on health and safety and minimize the risk of employees becoming ill or getting injured while at work? There are a number of health and safety measures all employers must implement in the workplace, and below we have outlined a few.
Risk Assessment: All employers must conduct a risk assessment of their workplace. A typical risk assessment will ensure that possible hazards or dangers to workers’ health and safety have been identified and that sufficient protection is in place to prevent an accident. Potential hazards are noted (these may include, among others, slippery surfaces, people working at height, dangerous substances, noisy environments and areas where vehicles are in motion). Also noted are those workers who may be at risk from these potential hazards. The level of the risk must then be gauged along with the adequacy or otherwise of the precautions and protection currently in place – this will dictate whether further protective measures need to be introduced.
Signs: Each workplace must show the following signs: A copy, prominently displayed, of the Health and Safety law poster, a certificate of employers’ liability insurance; and signs warning employees of particular workplace dangers or hazards such as machinery, vehicles at work and potentially harmful substances.
Equipment: All equipment used by employees at work must be safe. The law requires that such equipment must be appropriate for the use to which it is put and that it must be checked regularly and kept in safe working order. The equipment must come with safety precautions like protective clothing and warning signs where appropriate. The only employees who can use equipment are those who have the training and the information needed to operate the equipment safely.
First Aid: The law requires employers ensure there are adequate first aid facilities and equipment in the workplace. These must include a properly filled first aid box. Firms handling dangerous substances or using potentially dangerous machinery are usually required to have further first aid procedures in place.
Prevent Injuries: Using a service such as the Physical Capacity Profile Testing System will assist employers in preventing work place injuries by properly matching their employees’ physical abilities to their new job. Utilizing state-of-the-art proprietary software, the PCP machine completes a collection of multiple measurements in as little as 30 minutes with results available to employers within minutes. The post offer physical exam and testing accesses human performance to reduce workers’ comp claims, lower employer insurance premiums and minimize employee injuries.