Maintaining a safe working environment is critical for all businesses, not only to avoid legal proceedings but to provide an environment where employees feel safe. Protecting the health and well being of employees is the number one responsibility as a business owner; so if you have any qualms about the safety of your workplace, raise them right away.
If you are an employee that feels your safety is being compromised, don’t be afraid to highlight the issue. You may think that your boss won’t want to spend any money on correcting the issue and you could be right, but you are entitled to a safe environment. Most bosses would rather pay a smaller cost now than pay out a large lawsuit later on if someone gets injured or even worse.
Health and safety is important for all types of businesses, whether it is the electrics in an office or the protective equipment provided for high-risk jobs like roofing and construction. There are a number of things that employers should do to ensure the protection and safety of their staff and it varies from one type of industry to another and also varies from country to country, depending on which regulations you fall under.
In the United States, it is the United States Department of Labor that is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the protection of workers in America. OSHA administers the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
If you are looking for some advice and guidance on health and safety in your workplace, then the OSHA website has a range of information that will help you make the right choices when it comes to protecting your employees. Similarly, if you are an employee looking for some clarification on a health and safety issue, you can raise your query with OSHA and they can provide advice.
If you run an office then the health and safety requirements are more straight-forward than a construction site for example, but they still require the same amount of attention. Regular testing of electrical equipment is just one of your responsibilities as electric failures can easily become a fire that injures and endangers life.
If you run a construction company or roofing business or any type of high-risk environment, you have a responsibility to ensure that equipment is tested and you must also provide appropriate protective clothing and other protective equipment to your employees. You should also have policies in place that ensure that employees always wear the protective clothing/equipment. As an example, if you are a roofing company, you should be providing a fall protection harness for any employee that is working at height. Checks should be routinely made to ensure that this policy is being practiced at all times.
If you own a business then your employees are your biggest asset, look after them and don’t ever try to cut costs when it comes to health and safety, the consequences are just too big to gamble on. If you are a worker, do not accept a working environment where safety is compromised in any way.