Health and safety is a vital part of effective facilities management for two reasons. The first is the well-being of your staff, the second is securing the costs of injuries. It was estimated that in 2017-2018, the costs of injuries and ill health from current working conditions were as high as £15 billion.
From the possible penalties to the benefits of team collaboration, we’ve highlighted a few helpful steps to ensure your health and safety strategy is on point.
#1 Remember the possible penalties
In 2018/2019, fines equalling £54.5 million were issued to duty holders found guilty of health and safety offences, with the fine per case averaging £150,000. Breaking health and safety laws can lead to imprisonment for offenders, while the practical effects of a workplace incident can include serious damage to lives and property. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!
“It was estimated that in 2017-2018, the costs of injuries and ill health from current working conditions were as high as £15 billion.”
#2 Make use of available resources
Whether you’re reviewing an office’s required cleaning standards or a school’s fire risk measures, you’re able to access a range of useful materials to help guarantee health and safety. The Health and Safety Executive has published a variety of risk management tools, examples and FAQs; by reading them thoroughly, you’ll take on the kind of important information that’ll make your job much easier.
#3 Know your workplace inside out
Leave no aspect to chance. Your cleaning team will have to be legally compliant and trained in handling chemicals; get to know the space well and review where risks could occur; have a well-rehearsed fire escape plan and be mindful of any possible obstacles; where necessary, ensure that new staff members are knowledgeable of the health and safety policy.
#4 Learn from your team’s knowledge
Whether you’re in an SME or a big business, your staff members may encounter dangers and be unaware of how to report them. Encourage a culture of openness; give your staff the confidence to approach you if they have any concerns and act on them. Openly share the health and safety materials you have to create peace of mind.
#5 Review, review, review
You may have a perfectly written up risk assessment and feel that any potential hazards are under control, but workplaces are never static; risks that you need to be aware of occur every day. Take time every few months to look at the current policy and judge whether it’s up to scratch; it may take your attention from other tasks, but you don’t want to have to update your risk assessment after something has gone wrong.