Small Business Safety: The Basics

This post is here to help you provide a better workspace for you and your employees, by giving you the simple information that you need to make your workspace safe and keep your employees healthy.


Writing a Health and Safety Policy, and Carrying Out a Risk Assessment

If you have less than five employees for your small business, you don’t need to draft up a health and safety policy.  You’ll still need a policy in place — it just doesn’t need to be written out.  However, if you have any more than that, you will need to.  There are great templates here that are available to you to help you write one out and map out your commitments.

However, just drafting up a policy isn’t enough.  Another step you’ll have to take is to inspect every area of the workplace.  You need to identify any potential hazards, and then take steps to minimise any possible risk.  Make sure you talk to your employees directly about the hazards, and how they can also minimise any risk.


Training Your Staff

If you create a policy, but don’t train your employees on how to keep themselves safe in your workplace, it’s all for naught.  Depending on how big your facility is, you may only have to just talk your employees through the training.  Many low-risk businesses do this, and that’s all that’s required.  However, with that being said, you need to go over training every so often.  You cannot just go over the training once and think that this is okay.  You need to go over health and safety training regularly.


Make Sure Your Facilities Are Up To Scratch

No matter how much training you do, you still need to make sure that your facilities are up to par with how they should be.  You need to be sure that you have the correct facilities to keep both your staff and any possible visitors safe.

This includes making sure you have:

  • Proper restrooms with toilets, sinks, soaps, and hand-drying areas.
  • Safe drinking water.
  • A place to rest and eat.
  • A place to store clothing, and a place to change clothing if needed.

Your facilities should have:

  • Good ventilation.
  • A good temperature.
  • A clean workspace.
  • Good lighting.
  • Trash bins for waste.


Employer’s Liability Insurance

To safeguard yourself and your employees, you’ll need employers’ liability insurance.  This way if a court finds you liable for some kind of injury, your insurance can cover it.

To find further information on health and safety for small businesses, make sure to view Health and Safety Made Simple guide from the Health and Safety Executive.


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