Health and safety has gained a bad reputation in recent years, but it really is important. If you run a business that has employees, health and safety training is something you should take very seriously.

Because if you haven’t taken appropriate steps to prevent accidents in the workplace, you’ll be the one getting sued when somebody accidentally chops their finger off while using the guillotine. (Rule number one: always leave the safety bar on the guillotine.)

So is your business really up to scratch on the health and safety front? If not, read on to find out 5 easy ways to improve it:

1. Staff Training

There’s no better way to ensure a safe workplace than to train your staff properly. After all, if your employees know what the hazards are and how to protect themselves against them, aren’t they much more likely to do so?

2. Signage

Displaying adequate signage is a incredibly simple way to reduce the risk of injury in the workplace. What’s so hard about keeping a few, ‘Caution: Wet Floor,’ signs handy, and making sure your fire extinguishers, no smoking areas, first aid kits and fire exits are all labelled properly and prominently? That’s right. Nothing. You know you can buy those signs pre-made, right? You don’t even have to go to the effort of printing them.

3. Risk Assessments

Yes, we heard that sigh of resignation. But you really do have to do this; it’s for your own good. Well, that and your employees’ good. Carrying out thorough risk assessments is an integral part of business. We know you’re tempted to fill in the bare minimum on those government-issued forms you’re given, but we urge you to take risk assessments seriously. You don’t need to go into huge detail, you just need to identify specific actions you could take to help prevent your staff members from coming to harm. (And then carry out those actions – otherwise you’re still liable.)

4. Hazardous Substance Storage

We hate to go all COSHH on you, but if your business deals with any hazardous substances (and we’re betting it does), it’s imperative to make sure they’re stored correctly. It’s not just grizzly industries such as engineering and oil rigging that deal with hazardous substances. Whether you’re in baking or beauty, hairdressing or printing, there’s almost certainly a chemical or two lying about the place – and all of them need to be stored safely.

5. The Right Equipment

Remember that guillotine we talked about? Well, if it’d had the safety bar on in the first place, poor Gretchen would never have lost a finger to it. It’s important to supply the right equipment and to make sure it’s all in good working order. This sort of thing can be noted in your risk assessment, so jot down all faulty equipment as you go round, and ask your employees if there’s any equipment they feel isn’t up to the job.

If you read this and realised your business is sorely in need of a few health and safety improvements, fear not; we offer a range of courses that’ll get you and your team up to scratch in no time.