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Keeping your employees and customers safe

Globally, an estimated 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million instances of work-related illnesses occur each year, presenting significant concerns for business proprietors. As an employer and business owner, it is incumbent upon you to ensure the safety of your workforce, as the ramifications of neglecting this responsibility can be substantial.

In the unfortunate event of an employee or customer sustaining an injury on your premises, the repercussions are dire. The company may encounter:

  • Lengthy and costly legal proceedings,
  • Substantial compensation payouts to the injured party,
  • Adverse publicity through media and social media coverage of the incident.

Moreover, there are ethical considerations regarding the well-being of stakeholders, alongside the emotional distress, anxiety, and enduring health implications for the injured party.

Your obligation to your employees entails providing a secure and healthy work environment, comprehensive training, and continuous monitoring of their safety and welfare. This encompasses:

  • Ensuring the integrity and upkeep of machinery and equipment,
  • Maintaining a hazard-free workplace,
  • Furnishing adequate training on equipment operation and safety protocols,
  • Instruction on health and safety procedures,
  • Vigilant oversight of employee health and safety,
  • Provision of assistance to employees injured or taken ill during work activities,
  • Procuring relevant liability insurance to mitigate staff injuries.

Similarly, your duty to customers mandates maintaining a safe environment within your physical establishments, encompassing considerations of accessibility and routine safety evaluations. These obligations encompass:

  • Maintaining hazard-free and well-maintained premises,
  • Implementing security measures such as CCTV surveillance and security personnel,
  • Ensuring accessibility for differently-abled individuals,
  • Equipping staff with emergency response training,
  • Acquiring appropriate public liability insurance to address customer injuries.

Additionally, it is imperative to provide pertinent staff training and establish continuity plans to address eventualities such as staff/customer injuries, criminal incidents, or unforeseen emergencies. To ensure efficacy in training safety protocols:

  • Regularly conduct risk assessments to identify and mitigate potential hazards,
  • Develop robust risk mitigation strategies and operational procedures,
  • Implement and sustain a comprehensive health and safety management system,
  • Provide staff with requisite resources and support for safe working practices,
  • Disseminate health and safety policies and procedures to all stakeholders,
  • Continuously monitor and enhance the effectiveness of health and safety measures.

Prioritizing health and safety not only fulfills your obligations to employees, customers, and suppliers but also safeguards your brand reputation and the trust vested in your business. By adhering to these principles, you uphold the welfare of your stakeholders and bolster the integrity of your brand.

Graham Burfield
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