The matter is not whether a company is small or has a smaller number of employees. What matters is the life of the workers though working in less numbers. Health and safety in small and medium businesses is a must and is a legal requirement however, the process of implementation may vary compared to large organizations. Ultimately it’s the responsibility of the employer to implement the health and safety in small businesses. Every company has various types of hazards like electrical, chemical, mechanical, physical and biological. The company has to implement the health and safety step by step which could be done flexibly as per the workplace circumstances.
Developing policy is a must even if the company has five employees or a small one. Policy is to define the goals and objectives that the company wants to achieve and ultimately goal is to achieve zero accidents. Policy should consist of roles and responsibilities of the employer and the employees too. Roles and responsibilities should cover every aspect that an employer and employee will have to implement. For this a detailed program has to be developed by the employer in which a clear agenda will be present as to how the accidents and injuries shall be avoided or eliminated.
Employer’s role is to appoint a competent person in the company even if it’s a small one or the employer can train one of his employees in health and safety and deploy the responsibility of implementation of health and safety in the company. Regular risk assessments, forming teams among the employees to check the health and safety procedures to be followed during the work. Employers must play a proactive role in implementing health and safety among the employees and develop a system of inspection from time to time. The risk assessments and inspections should also consist of the recommendations to control the risk.
Complying with the health and safety standards and laws isn’t a big deal even if the company is small provided that the employer has the commitment to the safety of the employees. Opting employers’ liability insurance will help the company to overcome the burden of compensation if any employee gets injured. Apart from the regular activities being carried on there may be specific hazards activity like work at height, lone working or noise and vibration or more. Employers have the responsibility to develop specific control measures for such specific hazards which might have high risk. Formal training for the technical persons, awareness training for the whole employees from time to time will motivate the workers to follow health and safety effectively.
Maintaining a proper procedure for accident reporting and encouraging the employees to report even if its minor injury is a must in small businesses as today’s minor injury may lead to major one which can prove a huge burden for the small businesses. Employers must take advice from the standard bodies like National Safety Council where they’ll be guided in all the aspects of health and safety with a minimal fee keeping in view the number of employees that a company has.