Monday 7 July 2014

Keeping your health and safety documents up to date, things to remember

Running a business isn’t easy and you might often feel like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day for you to work through all of your tasks. Inevitably, this means certain jobs will get pushed back. However, one of the issues that should never slip to the bottom of your to-do list is safety.

If you don’t keep on top of risk management, the consequences could be disastrous for both your workers and your company overall. With this in mind, it’s vital that you keep your safety documents up to date and do so in an ethical and environmentally friendly way.

Important documents

If you’re unsure which health and safety documents your firm needs, you can turn to the Health and Safety Executive for information or enlist the help of consultants at specialist firms like Phoenix Health & Safety.

One example of a document you’re legally required to create if you employ five or more members of staff is a health and safety policy. These consist of three key sections, namely a statement of intent, details of organisational responsibilities and arrangements for how your firm will achieve its safety aims.

Under UK health and safety laws, these documents must be regularly reviewed and revised, and the changes must be brought to the attention of all workers.

You’ll also need written health and safety risk assessments. These documents identify any hazards that exist in the workplace, the people who may be in danger and the level of risk involved. They also contain suitable measures to control the dangers.

Circumstances change

Health and safety policies, risk assessments and other similar resources are not one off documents that can be completed and then left untouched indefinitely. The fact is, dangers in the workplace change. Staff members come and go, new equipment is introduced and working practices evolve. In addition, safety regulations change over time.

This means it’s vital that you update your health and safety documents on a regular basis.

The risks if you let things slide

Letting safety issues slide is simply not an option. If you do, you risk potentially devastating consequences for your staff members. In the worst cases, your personnel may suffer serious or even fatal injuries.

Meanwhile, if your safety management procedures are discovered to be inadequate, you may find yourself subject to long and costly legal proceedings, which could spell disaster for your bottom line. There is also possible reputational damage to consider.

Environmental factors

The ethical and environmental factors that surround keeping your documentation up to date are also very important, the amount of paper wasted through the replication of documents is huge, it is therefore recommended that you keep a digital copy of all of your health and safety document and make sure that these are amendable, this saves on paper and other filing resources. The setup of digital signatures, digital receipts or online terms and conditions means that you can have accurate, official date at your fingertips.

Help is at hand

You might decide that you are capable of keeping all your health and safety documentation up to date, and there is also the option of involving one or more of your workers in this process. However, if you don’t feel confident when it comes to this aspect of your business, it could pay off to look for help from a third-party provider.

By seeking assistance from specialist consultants, you can ensure these tasks are completed to the relevant standard and, because of this, you can enjoy peace of mind. In addition, you stand to free up more of your time to focus on other issues.

Posted by Tim Sandle

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