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The worst health and safety mistakes for business

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If you’re running your small business from an office in fairly good condition, then it can be easy to assume you don’t need to worry all that much about health and safety. Sure, working for a start-up in a modern business isn’t exactly as high-risk as being a soldier, but health and safety policies exist for a reason; to keep people healthy and safe!

As you continue to grow your business, here are some common health and safety mistakes you need to avoid.

Risk assessment

First of all, not carrying out regular risk assessments. Even when you don’t have any workers who do any kind of manual work, it’s still important to assess the workspace for safety. It’s likely that you have many employees who sit down for the better part of the working day, usually typing.

This may not sound death-defying, but it’s still very important to carry out workstation risk assessments to guard your workforce against painful back problems which are products of incorrect seating positions. RSI from, typing is another big concern for all office workers, but it can be prevented easily enough if it’s caught early on.

More practical safety procedures like RCD testing are also very important every once in a while. Look into the kinds of risk assessments you need at your office, set a schedule and stick to it!

Training

Next, failing to train your employees wherever it’s necessary. Every workplace requires proper training, especially where the staff run the risk of a serious injury. If you haven’t already, start drafting a mandatory induction for all your new employees. This should go over safe work procedures, and be delivered by someone you can trust to deliver clear instructions and tips.

From there, make sure your health and safety guidelines are written out and put somewhere where everyone in the office can see them. You may even want to get the calendar out and mark some days for health and safety refreshers. The point is that this kind of training can’t be a one-off. If you’re not providing correct and regular training for your employees, you could land your business in some seriously hot water.

Not taking breaks

Finally, not ensuring that your employees are taking breaks. This is perhaps one of the most common mistakes made by start-up owners, and it’s not difficult to see why. You’re probably scrambling just to keep your profit margins up, and on most the days the office is likely to be total chaos. While some days may require everyone to pull all the stops out, giving your staff regular breaks from the desks and screens is a legal requirement.

Yes, you may have one or two employees who never take a lunch and blitz through their workload so they can go home early. I’m afraid they’re going to have to bite the bullet! If you’re worried about productivity slipping, give your staff some non-desk related tasks like photocopying or filing.

Avoid these mistakes, and you should be able to maintain a happy, healthy workplace.

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