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New Year, New Safety Tasks

Jan 18, 2022

5 key safety tasks for a New Year

We hope all our regular readers, and new friends alike, had a safe and fun New Year. Now we are back at work, it is time to deal with all of those health and safety tasks you keep putting off. After all, failure to deal with key safety hazards could result in a fatality, major injury or at least a fine. Here are five key matters you need to address:

1. Ensure your health and safety policy is up to date.
The Health and Safety Executive states that your health and safety policy must be reviewed annually. Ensure the legislation it refers to is up to date and that your Policy and Arrangements document is true to your business. Are they still relevant to your business? Are the procedures implemented? Has it been reviewed by a qualified, safety professional?

2. Review your risk assessments
Check your company/organisation risk assessment documents. When were they last reviewed? If more than 12 months ago, it is out of date. Your risk assessments should be looked at and updated at least annually. Make sure your risk assessments consider all key hazards including Covid-19, working at height and fire safety. You should have an up to date fire risk assessment in place also.

3. Review staff training

Staff health and safety training is an integral part of any business. It is important to review your staff training regularly. It allows employees to understand their job responsibilities, how to carry them out safely, and about their employee rights. The staff training also helps to reduce liability in the case of any mistakes made by the staff. Healthy and safe staff are good for business.

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires you “to provide whatever information, instruction, training, and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of your employees”. It is therefore essential that you provide suitable health and safety training to your staff regularly. You need to check when the last training took place as it should be reviewed at least annually, but more frequently if your business needs dictate. You must ensure you have sufficient first aiders and fire marshals within your staff as they will play and important roll if an incident occurs.

Here at JCH Safety, we can help with our online training suite as well as via our virtual classroom and in person training courses. We can help with courses such as Asbestos Awareness and Working at Height. Check out our online training to find out more (LINK)

4. Check over insurance documents – are all business activities correctly insured?

Although organising insurance for your business may seem daunting, it is imperative that you have the correct cover. Not having the correct and sufficient insurance can have a catastrophic financial impact on your business should the worst happen. Also, failing to have all the required documentation that your insurers expect may render your insurance invalid. Is your fire risk assessment up to date for example?

Many companies just auto-renew their insurance, and this could leave them under-insured. Businesses change, such as staff numbers, premises, work activities and equipment. Your insurers need to be kept informed.

 The type and number of different insurances you may need depends on the size of your business or organisation, your industry category, and the activities that you carry out. It is a legal requirement to have employers’ liability insurance if you have any employees, but you may also need public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance or contents and portable equipment insurance to name a few. Speak to your insurance brokers to find out more.

5. Check your fire safety arrangements are sufficient

You should regularly check to ensure your fire safety arrangements are suitable and sufficient. This should involve an annual fire risk assessment and a review of your evacuation procedures. With the new year review, check over your premises. Have things changed since the last fire risk assessment or have new staff, premises and equipment made significant changes to your business? Are you using new chemicals or storing new flammable substances? Do you have suitable personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPS) in place? Have you conducted a fire evacuation drill in the last year? If you need any assistance with fire safety, remember we can help.

JCH Safety are expert health and safety consultants and fire risk assessors. We help a range of clients across the Midlands to keep their staff and building users safe. As Chartered Safety Practitioners and Registered Fire Risk Assessors your can rest assured of our competence.

For more information on any of the above, or for any other health and safety enquiries, please get in touch and we will be happy to help.