As a small business, ensuring the safety of your workplace for employees is essential. While all workplaces have potential hazards, which could lead to accident and injury, as a business owner, it is your responsibly to reduce risk and safeguard your employees. This means that you must make sure that work spaces are clear and hazard-free. Employees should be aware of health and safety risks. Your business needs the appropriate insurances and to carry out regular risk assessments. Moreover, all equipment must be safe to use. To help your small business comply with health and safety regulations, here is a brief guide to equipment safety in the workplace.
In the UK, a business must meet legal obligations when it comes to the safety of work equipment. Introduced in 1998, The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations stipulates that employers must provide training for equipment use, purchase equipment that is fit for purpose, and regularly maintain and check equipment.
Before buying new equipment, you must ensure that it is suitable for purpose. For example, while some tools are suitable for home use, voltage may be too high to be used on a commercial job. It is important to always research construction equipment before buying, as selecting the wrong items could lead to equipment breaking, damage to the working environment, or worse, serious injuries to employees.
As a business owner, you must ensure that employees are trained before using equipment. The type of training required will depend upon the equipment. However, it is important to note that one-off training is not enough. Employers must continue to train employees when new equipment is purchased, as well as provide regular refresher courses.
Inspections And Assessments
By law, businesses must carry out checks and inspections of equipment and must also keep a record of all checks that have been carried out in order to comply with the law.
In addition, it is important that both employers and employees carry out regular checks. One of the easiest and most effective ways to make sure daily checks are completed is to include quick step-by-step checklists. This may include checking new equipment mechanisms, hinges and switches.
Checking Safety Equipment
Carrying out a risk assessment will highlight the equipment poses a significant risk. However, the type of check needed depends upon the equipment. For example, a quick visual check may be enough in some instances, while others will require a more in-depth inspection.
Initially, look for obvious signs of damage, such as broken cables and loose wires. After this, you may need to complete more specialist checks, such as assessing if voltage and currents are correct. After carrying out checks, you must assess if equipment can be repaired – for incorrect current, buying a DC DC converter may solve the issue – or if the equipment needs to be replaced.
Equipment safety in the workplace should be a vital concern for any small business. All small businesses are required to comply with legal regulations and ensure that equipment is safe for use. To ensure that equipment is safe, train staff, carry out risk assessments to identify potential issues, and carry out regular maintenance.
Image from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXiEty-UrWg