Health and Safety checklist for SME’s
13 November 2018
The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 – All employers are required to follow this legalisation by law. The sole purpose of occupational health and safety law is to reduce the number of workplace injuries or deaths, the vast majority of which can be easily prevented by taking very straightforward safety precautions.
Under Section 8 of the Act the employer has a duty to ensure employees’ safety, health and welfare at work as far as is reasonably practicable. In order to prevent workplace injuries and ill-health the employer is required, among other things, to:
- Provide and maintain a safe workplace which uses safe plant and equipment
- Prevent risks from use of any article or substance and from exposure to physical agents, noise and vibration
- Prevent any improper conduct or behaviour likely to put the safety, health and welfare of employees at risk
- Provide instruction and training to employees on health and safety
- Provide protective clothing and equipment to employees
- Appointing a competent person as the organisation’s Safety Officer
Source – Citizen’s Information
Checklist: Work safety procedures
Assign a Safety officer
The Safety Officer is responsible for monitoring and assessing hazardous and unsafe situations and developing measures to assure personnel safety. Having someone assigned to this role will bring focus to ongoing procedures and best practices.
Identify any hazard by carrying out a workplace assessment with your newly appointed Safety Officer. From this determine how employees might be at risk and evaluate these risks. If possible eradicate this hazards immediately and record and review these hazards at least once annually.
Educate and train workers
Ideally everyone in the office should be able to use a fire extinguisher, not just the Safety officer. Holding demonstrations is a great way for workers to feel confident while using extinguishers, especially in the event of a fire where nerves are high. A simple way to do this is to use the PASS method;
- P – Pull the pin on the extinguisher.
- A – Aim the hose nozzle low toward the base of the fire.
- S – Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
- S – Sweep the nozzle from side to side at the base of the flames until extinguished.
Fire exits and procedures
Educate your staff about where the fire exits are and where they are to go in an event of a fire or other evacuation types for example; gas leaks, chemical leaks or equipment malfunctions.
Provide a First Aid box
The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work. These Regulations apply to all workplaces including those with less than five employees and to the self-employed. Source – HSE
The HSA have prepared Guidelines on First Aid at Places of Work as part of the Guide to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations.