“If you walked into this business, what would you expect them to have in place?”
It’s a simple question and one that I ask when teaching a number of subjects. It tends to get people thinking and sometimes generates some surprising answers.
Ask yourself the same question; if you walked into a hairdressers or a restaurant, or perhaps an engineering workshop, or a school, or even a tree surgeons yard, what would you expect them to have in place for:
- using ladders & steps?
- working with those oils & chemicals?
- ensuring food hygiene?
- working with sharp edged equipment?
- dealing with fires?
- dealing with burns, cuts and grazes?
Now let’s flip the question – “If I walked into your business, what would I expect you to have in place for working with…?”
Ask yourself these questions;
- If you use them, have you been trained how to use them properly? If they’ve been changed since you first started working there, have you been shown how to use the new ones? This could be a cash till, a set of hair curlers, some step ladders, a battery powered chainsaw, a new food mixer. Even a kettle or the post delivery trolley!
- When did you last do a fire evacuation drill? While most office blocks will probably be pretty good at this, smaller offices and shops have probably never done one. And why would they? There are only a few people in there and obviously everyone could get out if they wanted to? Does that comply with the law though? Could “old Mrs Miggins” get out safely, or would you have to help her out? What about fire extinguishers – have you got any and if so what type are they (not size)? When were they purchased or last serviced?
- Who checks to see if your first aid kit is in date? Do you have a first aider? When were they last trained? Do you even have a first aid kit? Do you know which pieces of legislation relate to having a first aid kit? Would it be a good idea to refresh your knowledge on the subject?
- Where is your COSHH file & is it up to date? You might be thinking; “A what?”. Control of substances hazardous to health. Those oils and chemicals that you’re using. How long have you been using them for; years? Has that affected your skin? What do the manufacturers recommend in terms of storage, cleaning up spillages or cleaning equipment?
The list goes on.
All of these are legal requirements & if you’re not doing these, you’re opening yourselves up to compensation claims, let alone prosecution from enforcing bodies (Environmental Health Officers & Health & Safety Executive, Fire & Rescue Service, etc).
It’s definitely worth asking yourself, “If you walked into this business…” Many workplaces will say that they’re a safe place to work. But the counter to that is can you “prove it”. Have you got the paperwork to back up the claim?
- An accident book?
- A COSHH folder?
- A record of near misses?
- An accident investigation book/records?
So cast an eye around your workplace, even if it’s at home, and ask yourself, “if I walked in here, what would I expect there to be in place?” Hopefully you won’t end up thinking…
If you’re not sure of how to do these, get in touch with us today and we can help guide you in selecting the most appropriate training course for you. We run scheduled & private courses for individuals, groups, sports clubs & businesses across the UK.