Companies 'must have awareness of health and safety'

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A focus on health and safety is essential for all firms

Companies of all sizes need to be aware of the importance of adhering to responsible health and safety practices, with one HR expert revealing failure to do so can have a significant adverse affect on business performance.

Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting told how all businesses have certain responsibilities when it comes to safeguarding against harm and it is important managers have a thorough understanding of what is expected of them in terms of health and safety.

The law states that all businesses must carry out effective risk management assessments for all activities expected of members of staff, with appropriate measures being put in place to limit the risk of harm as a result of a person carrying out their daily duties.

In order to achieve this, Ms Russell advised managers and business leaders should take a tour of their premises, ensuring they identify any potential hazards their staff might face.

They should then put in place the most effective safeguards to mitigate these risks, while all hazards and associated safety measures should be noted for future reference and for compliance with UK healthy and safety laws.

"When starting a new business, health and safety can sometimes seem like another point on a long list of things to organise, but with the right planning and organisation, any business can successfully implement a health and safety system which will protect their employees as well as their business," Ms Russell concluded.

According to the Health and Safety Executive - the UK regulator for health and safety in the workplace - companies in every sector and at every stage of the business lifecycle should be devoted to safeguarding the health and wellbeing of their staff.

The benefits of doing so are well known and are highlighted by the body. They include protecting against serious injury or ill health for workers, reduced levels of absenteeism and sick leave, better staff retention, increased productivity and profits, lower insurance premiums and legal costs, as well as ensuring a positive company reputation.