The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation which comes under the jurisdiction of WorkSafeBC requires that all small businesses have an occupational health and safety program. A workplace health and safety program is a process which involves managing the prevention of work-related injuries and diseases in the work place. As a small business owner and an employer, you have the responsibility to your employees to ensure that the workplace is safe.
The scope of your health and safety program will depend on the size of your business and the hazards at your particular workplace. Generally, small businesses can state their health and safety policy as well as describe its program in a couple of pages.
The steps below take a look at the basics of less formal programs for smaller businesses, the key steps to a safe working environment cover the basic components of your health and safety program.
Having a plan to promote health and safety in the work place
As an employer it’s important that you identify hazards in your workplace as well as take steps to eliminate or minimise these potential problems. You can do this by developing a safety plan, informing your employees what you are putting in place to ensure their safety.
Inspect your workplace
Regularly checking your equipment and tools will make sure that they’re all well maintained and safe to use, you can do this by checking storage areas and reviewing safe work procedures. This can include stacking boxes in a safe manner, informing employees or where the fire exits are and where to gather if there is a fire.
Training your employees
Proper training is necessary for all employees, especially if there’s a risk for potential injury which can be associated with a job role. You should provide written instructions and safe work procedures so they can check for themselves if they’re unsure of a task of have forgotten part of their training. By not providing the correct training for your employees, you’re not only endangering the safety of them, but you will also be liable for the incident.
Fire Warden Training
Fire wardens are an important role and will ensure that your business is prepared for a fire emergency, the fire warden will provide important risk control measures and ensure that your workplace is prepared should an emergency situation occur. At Northern Safety, we provide a full Fire Warden Training course, for information contact our team.
Fire safety equipment
There’s a range of fire safety equipment that you should have installed in your premises, this includes emergency lighting, fire safety signs, sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems and portable fire fighting equipment like extinguishers.
Talk regularly with your employees
Meet regularly with your staff and discuss health and safety issues, encourage them to share their ideas and thoughts on how to improve safety in the workplace.
Even if an incident doesn’t result in a serious injury, you can conduct an incident investigation to help determine why an incident happened, so you can take steps to ensure that it won’t recur.
Keep the records of all first aid treatment, inspections, incident investigations and training activities. The information can help you to identify trends in unsafe conditions or work procedures.
Make safety a key part of your business
Safety should be an afterthought, it’s just as important to a successful business as customer service, inventory control and financial planning. A commitment to health and safety makes good business sense because it’s the one way to protect your greatest resource, your people!