Everyone hates having to do things because they are told that they have to. If it is government telling you to do it, then that makes it at least ten times worse.
We knew that we had to do something about our (non-existent) Health and Safety policy as we have grown in the last few months to more than 5 employees – and we did not even have the obligatory poster on display so were outside the law. Now, with more than 5 employees, we have to have a written policy in place as well.
Where to start?
We started with the Health and Safety angle as it was the most urgent – and it was actually very easy! The website of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has a step buy step guide and sample documents you can use and make your own.
First the poster. This is so that everyone can see what the bosses’ responsibilities are and, just as importantly, what we are responsible for as individuals and employees. The poster is £7.50 from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE)
Ours up in the kitchen in the hope that people read it while waiting for the kettle to boil!
What about the written policy?
Next we carried out a risk assessment of actual or possible hazards . . . . yes, exactly – common sense! However, it did make us get round to clearing up some shelving that was lying about near the door, putting some stripey hazard tape at the top of the stairs where there is no bannister and making sure leads and wiring were tucked away.
And then we wrote it all down, using the template provided.
The directors have to sign up to the policy and someone needs to be appointed as responsible for making sure the policy is up to date and anything that changes or needs to be changed is done. It is also important that all staff (preferably as part of their induction as new starters) knows about the policy, why it is important, their part in it – and what to do in the event of fire or accident.
How to turn this to your advantage?
If you are thinking of bidding for work in the public sector and want to be in with a chance, you will also need to put in place some other key policies – environmental, quality management and equal opportunities – scary stuff? not really . . .. . . watch this space.
If you’d like to discuss your startup or project, get in touch with Simpleweb today.