Safety is a vital concern for any professional business or enterprise in the UK. This is not only the case for legal and civil compliance, but also for business health and productivity – as we will discover shortly. Safety standards are well-documented and easy to comply with, but what are the ins and outs of ensure compliance?

Safety Standards and Your Business
For every business in the UK, there is a legal standard set with regard to the provision of a safe working environment. Generally speaking, businesses and self-employed workers alike are beholden to Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, which requires the protection of the public from risk associated with the work or premises in question.

In practice, this might involve: physical locations replacing footpaths with new paving slabs to eliminate trip risks; construction businesses installing boundary fencing to prevent pedestrians from accidentally trespassing into a dangerous work zone; and even the safe storage of materials to avoid the risk of falling objects.

There are standards that differ from industry to industry, dependent on the trade-specific hazards that employees, visitors and customers are likely to encounter. For example, restaurants, takeaways and other hospitality venues where food is being sold are required to meet basic food safety standards, as set out by the Food Standards Agency. These standards are here to prevent the ill preparation of food, or the sale of potentially harmful food products.

The Merits of High Safety Standards
Of course, there is nothing to say that a given business cannot go above and beyond with regard to safety on their premises – and, indeed, doing so can be advantageous. But how so, especially when additional costs are factored in through the introduction of additional measures?

Holding one’s business to a higher standard than the legal frameworks for health and safety can have consummate benefits both in regard to staffing and custom. As a customer-facing business, a commitment to customer safety ensures they have a positive experience, and feel safe in giving their custom. Meanwhile, staff that feel safe in their day-to-day work are more likely to foster positive feelings towards the business – with ancillary impacts on productivity.

Safety and Employee Compliance
However, employees can also be something of a weak link in a business’ safety endeavours. Arguably the most important part of any business’ attempts to meet and exceed safety standards is training, without which employees are much less likely to adhere to new rules and frameworks.
Continued compliance with safety requirements, particularly strict ones relating to buddy systems or the wearing of PPE, can be incentivised in a number of ways. Employees could be recognised for services to business safety; members of staff could also be given new responsibilities for ensuring widespread health and safety compliance, in exchange for business perks or a higher salary.