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You are currently browsing the Health and Safety Step by Step Guide sub-category of the Business Knowledge Bank category of our Business Resources.

Health and Safety - An Introduction to the Step by Step Guide - Health and safety tends to be the last thing on the mind of most business men and women, until an accident happens, and then the realisation dawns that with a few simple steps the accident could probably have been avoided. To add to the problems after an accident, because simple precautions were not taken, the company and its owners could then also face prosecution and also a civil law suit costing many thousands of pounds. This step by step approach can help to prevent accidents and ensure that the company is protected if an accident does happen.

Ten Steps for Health and Safety in Business - This page will give you outline information on each of the ten steps you need to follow to ensure that your business is safe and legal.Where necessary each step can be elaborated on by using the Click Here link to further information.

Step 1. Register your Business - You must decide whether your business needs to be registered or not. Since 6 April 2009, most new businesses no longer need to register with HSE. However, if you work with hazardous substances, such as asbestos or explosives,or in a hazardous industry, such as construction or diving, you may need to apply for a licence; or notify HSE or your local authority. This page gives you more information on registering your business.

Step 2. Take Out Employers Liability Compulsory Insurance - This is a very simple step, and yet again the penalties for failing to comply are very severe. Depending on the type of business, the number of employees, and the location, the insurance premiums can be surprisingly low.

Step 3. Appoint a Competent Person - The law says you must appoint someone competent to help you to meet your health and safety duties. This Step tells you more about how to go about this.

Step 4. Write Your Health and Safety Policy - A health and safety policy sets out your general approach, objectives and the arrangements you have put in place for managing health and safety in your business. It is a unique document that says who does what, when and how. Here we provide you with a simple and effective way to produce your own health and safety policy.

Step 5. Assess the Risks - The law says you must assess and manage the health and safety risks of your business regardless of the number of employees. In a risk assessment, you carefully examine what in your work could cause people harm. This will determine if you have taken enough precautions, or if you should do more to prevent harm. Here we introduce the five-step plan for conducting a risk assessment.

Step 5. Continued - The Five Steps - As well as complying with the law, a risk assessment is an important step in protecting your workers and your business. It helps you to focus on the risks that really matter in your workplace - the ones with the potential to cause harm. This simple to follow process is sufficient for most businesses and is recommended by the HSE.

Step 5. Continued - Part 1 - Identify - First you need to work out how people could be harmed. When you work in a place every day it is easy to overlook some hazards, so here are some tips to help you identify the ones that matter.

Step 5. Continued - Part 2 - Decide - For each hazard you need to be clear about who might be harmed; it will help you identify the best way of managing the risk. That doesn't mean listing everyone by name, but rather identifying groups of people (e.g. 'people working in the storeroom' or 'passers-by' or 'customers').

Step 5. Continued - Part 3 - Evaluate - Having spotted the hazards, you then have to decide what to do about them. The law requires you to do everything 'reasonably practicable' to protect people from harm. You can work this out for yourself, but the easiest way is to compare what you are doing with good practice.

Step 5. Continued - Part 4 - Record - Putting the results of your risk assessment into practice will make a difference when looking after people and your business. Writing down the results of your risk assessment, and sharing them with your staff, encourages you to do this. Follow this step by step guide with examples.

Step 5. Continued - Part 5 - Review - You need to review your risk assessment and update it if necessary. Few workplaces stay the same. Sooner or later, you will bring in new equipment, substances and procedures that could lead to new hazards. It makes sense therefore, to review what you are doing on an ongoing basis.

Step 5. Continued - Frequently Asked Questions - Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the assessment of risk in the workplace.

Step 6. Provide Basic Welfare Facilities - You must provide a safe and healthy environment for all your employees. You also need to take account of their welfare needs. This includes people with disabilities. For example, you must provide toilets, washing facilities and drinking water, and you need to think about factors in the working environment like lighting and temperature.

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