Top Health & Safety Considerations for SMEs

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For SMEs, the health and safety of everyone that comes onto the premises is very important. Not only from a human standpoint does safety matter but also due to the reality that smaller companies won’t necessarily be able to withstand a wrongful death suit by the victim’s family in the event of a fatality.

To keep employees and visitors safe, it’s best to follow the right precautions. Here are some top safety tips for SMEs to follow. 

Appoint a Health & Safety Office

Depending the size of your SME, it might not be practical to appoint a full-time Safety and Health Officer inside the company. In this case, give an employee the responsibility as part of their broader set of responsibilities.

You can also send them on certified training courses to equip them properly for this responsibility. 

Ensure You Have First Aid Kits

Many minor scrapes and cuts can be handled internally using a first aid kit. 

Even when the injury is more serious, there’s often some initial care that can be provided using one of the first aid products included in a supply box before the ambulance arrives. Rendering aid early enough makes all the difference before paramedics can arrive on scene. 

Common Sense Advice

There’s plenty of common-sense advice surrounding health and safety.

A few of the pieces of advice which the officer will go over in time include:

  • Never run on the premises. 
  • Clean up any spills immediately, or if you cannot, erect a “wet spillage” yellow warning sign to alert people.
  • Use ergonomic chairs and desks to avoid strain on the body.
  • Lock exterior doors that are not in use.
  • Have a sign-in policy at reception so it’s known who is on the premises at all times.
  • Have a clear policy regarding fire and evacuation.
  • Advise staff to report any incidences to the relevant manager as soon as they can during or after the incident.

Make Protective Equipment Available for Relevant Positions

Protective gear is necessary to ensure the safety of people who work for the company. When there’s ever a doubt about the risks an employee is running when performing in their position, gear such as face marks, protective suits, gloves, overalls and other apparel or equipment should be utilized. 

Not only should the equipment be made available, but it must be a requirement of certain positions that the right equipment is worn. Anyone who refuses to do so or is lackadaisical about their own safety or that of others should be severely disciplined. 

Conduct a Proper Risk Assessment

Once the trainee staff member is qualified, have a proper risk assessment run for the business to find the areas within health and safety law that are not adhered to.

If you don’t wish to wait for your staff members to get up to speed, seek an outside health and safety expert to perform the risk assessment. Also, an audit can be performed annually to double-check that nothing is being missed or there hasn’t been a gradual reduction in standards being applied over time. 

When sensible procedures are followed by everyone on the premises, it’s possible to minimize the chances of accidents or dangerous situations occurring. While it may not rule them out completely, it will reduce their number to a manageable level.