It was back in the 1950’s that health and safety first became a topic which governments started to take seriously and since then a whole array of health and safety laws have become established to ensure that not only members of the general public can go about their day to day business but also companies employing people ensure that their workforce have protection from the many different dangers they may or can become exposed to.
With Europe becoming much bigger in recent years then a set of standardised health and safety policies have come into force, however many individual countries have also got in place their own unique set of health and safety regulations, and as such anyone owning or thinking of starting up their own business will have to quickly become aware of such policies to ensure that they do not fall foul to any of them.
Health and safety in the workplace is one of the most regulated aspects of business life and anyone breaching such laws and rules can face very stiff penalties which include unlimited fines and even imprisonment, and as such no corners should be cut in ensuring your business and employees as well as customers are fully protected.
One of the most common types of work place accidents are those which came about due to physical hazards, some industries with boast a very poor record in such accidents include those involved in construction and mining, and this is where a complete set of standalone health and safety rules and regulations have been put into place.
Another type of business who should ensure that they have a very robust set of health and safety policies are those who employ children, whilst many countries forbid any company to employ children, some have liberal rules on this, even in the UK children are permitted to get themselves jobs such as delivering newspapers and working on markets but anyone employing children must ensure they follow the rules, teach them the dangers of their job and have them fully insured.
Health and Safety assessments are one way in which any company or business owner can often massively reduce the number of accidents their employees have, in fact most companies now insist that their employees take an assessment in regards to anything they are about to do, whether it is changing a light bulb or digging a hole, this may seem ludicrous but experience has proven that by getting an employee to complete a health and safety assessment before performing a potentially dangerous task they can often reduce the likelihood of them having an accident.
Many countries of the world now have brought in legislation in regards to the clothing, footwear and headwear that businesses must provide to their employees, this includes but is certainly not limited to making employees wear hard hats when there is any danger of things falling on their heads, steel toe cap boots and shoes should that employee be at risk on anything heavy dropping on their feet and also giving them high visibility jackets whenever there is a risk they could be hit by a vehicle of any description.
There are some businesses that will expose their employees to high noise levels and once again this is an aspect of health and safety law which will need investigating should your company have such a hazard, many airport employees are issued with headphones and ear guards to ensure that they do not suffer any ill effects caused by noise.
There are also several dangers and hazards which can be found in a lot of businesses which are related to heat or the cold, this is again where companies and businesses must ensure that their employees are safe from these dangers by providing them with the right uniforms and or access to drinking water or any type of cooling products.
First aid is also an important part of health and safety law and now most businesses are required by law to ensure that they always have not only a first aid box on hand should there be a workplace accident but also have some one duty whilst the business is open who is first aid trained and can be a first responder should anyone have an accident in the workplace, whether an employee or a consumer.
If you are a business owner then before you start operating your business, in whatever field it is you need to have in place a robust health and safety policy and ensure that all employees know and have access to the policy.