There was in fact a time some decades back when health and safety policy for pretty much all types of companies out there consisted of basic pep-talks. “Lets keep it safe guys, and doesn’t anyone get hurt this week”. That was about it, but some of the more progressive outfits did throw in perhaps a monthly bonus incentive as well.
Now it may sound crazy by today’s standards, but this approach to health, and safety in the workplace worked fine up until more recent decades. Then things began to change. Change started with higher payouts in lawsuits that were filed as a result of injuries, and at about the same time what defined an injury began to change as well.
In short it took less to qualify as being injured in the workplace and even things like excessive or high noise levels began to be accepted as sources for potential workplace injuries. Then to make matters worse for employers, the government began to encroach into the workplace bringing with them their army of lawyers.
So needless to say, health and safety in the workplace is now something that has to be taken far more seriously than it once was. Not that business owners and managers in the past weren’t concerned. Rather it’s just that today even business genres that aren’t involved with manufacturing, and, or materials handling have to keep up.
The problem you face today, even if your business revolves solely around an office setting with employees that lift nothing heavier than a coffee cup, a computer mouse or a pen, is that safety code was written by lawyers for lawyers. So it’s just like any other type of law, in that they really don’t want you to completely understand it.
As an example, are you aware that there are enforceable regulations that are punishable by fines that pertain to your office chairs, and office restrooms? Is this news to you? Well if it is then guess what? You are most likely in violation of at least one them right now as you’re reading this.
Another thing that you need to be aware of is that a far greater portion of the assumed liability in the event that an employee or visitor to your business is injured has been shifted to you, the owner, or manager of the building, or work space. In short this means that pretty much everything and anything is your fault now no matter how hair brained the idiot is that ends up injuring him, or herself.
So now perhaps you can begin to understand why you need an up to date safety file and why more businesses today are outsourcing this end of their business operations to health and safety management professionals. Professionals who make it their business to stay abreast of all mandated health and safety codes, but also make a point of keeping familiar with any pending changes that may affect your status.
Health and safety consultants will first also assist you in doing a critical inspection of your premises with the goal of identifying, and prioritizing any areas where you may currently be in code violation. Then using that information they can formulate a workable plan to bring you entirely up to code, and help you with preventative employee safety training, and education.