Health & Safety Inspections are an essential tool for any business. Yet why do businesses especially in my experience, SME’s, have a reluctance or failure to carry them out?
As part of the continuous improvement of a business, Health & Safety Inspections help to identify where there are both good practices, procedures and safe systems of work as well as the poor ones.
If that’s the case then why are businesses reluctant to carry them out?? In my experience it is usually for the following reasons – lack of experience, unsure of what to look at and assess and simply ignorance!
A Health & Safety Inspection does not have to be time consuming nor difficult. In some businesses a simple visual walk around of the premises can be enough. It is easy enough to walk around a premises and identify slips, trips and falls i.e. trailing cables, to identify clear access routes, to identify where fire exits are etc. etc.
For other businesses a thorough Health & Safety Inspection is required and this is especially the case when it comes to construction, manufacturing and engineering businesses because of the often high risk works that are associated with these industries. A company can produce their own Health & Safety Inspection sheet and there are many templates available on the internet in this electonic age and this also includes various apps like I-Auditor.
However, it is also makes good Health & Safety sense for businesses to also employ the services of an external Health & Safety Adviser / Consultant who can provide an independent Health & Safety Inspection. The advantage of this is that they are external to the day to day operation of the business and therefore will often “see” things that someone employed at the business would miss because they may no longer notice it with being in the working environment on a daily basis or are unaware due to lack of understanding and/or training.
Health & Inspections can also help businesses in the long term too. Regular monitoring of the Health & Safety within a business can help with tendering processes, attraction of potential employees to the business and also with lower insurance premiums. Many insurance companies are now looking at the Health & Safety performance of a business when it comes to looking at their overall risk value. Where a company can demonstrate good Health & Safety practices and show that these are regularly monitored and reviewed, it can conversely reduce the “risk rating” of the business and lead to the lower insurance premium.
So the question really is…”Can your business afford not to carry out regular Health & Safety Inspections?”