Health & Safety is an essential component in responsible business for many organisations today. However, it’s also something that can easily slip. It’s not only dangerous for those working within the business when health & safety isn’t up to date but can also do a lot of damage to reputation and future potential too. If your enterprise needs to stay on top of health & safety but finds this a struggle then working with an outsourcing partner could be a simple and cost effective solution.
The biggest regulatory headache
One government source identified that many small businesses consider health & safety to be one of the biggest regulatory headaches they have to deal with and even an obstacle to success. When the business is busy and the workforce is increasing in size it can be difficult to create time to ensure that health & safety requirements are being met. Whether a site has the correct signage for fire exits or electrical equipment that has been tested for compliance, for example, can fade into the background compared to managing the day-to-day needs of the business and driving towards greater profitability. However, there are two key reasons why it’s essential to ensure that health & safety requirements are being met.
Providing a safe working environment. No employer intentionally puts staff in harm’s way but if health & safety standards slip this can end up being the result.
Avoiding large penalties. Businesses that don’t meet the requirements for health & safety can face large fines – these penalties increased significantly in 2016 and could be devastating for any enterprise. The largest fines exceed £1 million and are for breaches of safety legislation – these are increasingly becoming the norm.
Outsourcing health & safety
The obligations and requirements involved in health & safety compliance can involve a lot of time consuming research and reading that many businesses today simply don’t have the manpower for. There may be no budget to bring someone into the business exclusively to focus on health & safety requirements and that’s where standards can start to slip. Outsourcing health & safety means your small business benefits from a pool of support from those who are experts and can provide tailored, up to date advice that will keep your business on track. These are some key questions to ask when looking at whether your business could benefit from outsourcing health & safety:
Do you have someone in-house whose role is to ensure the business meets health & safety standards?
Are there structures in place to make sure staff receive the right training and someone responsible for ensuring this happens?
Do you have a written health & safety policy statement? If you have more than five employees this is a requirement.
Have you carried out the right risk assessments for your business and recorded the results?
Do you have procedures in place to report problems, accidents etc in compliance with the RIDDOR regulations?
These are just some of the key areas that any small business needs to ensure are covered when it comes to health & safety. Outsourcing the responsibilities and requirements that are created by legislation could remove an administrative burden from your business and also help to ensure compliance standards are being met.