Health and safety is something of a nightmare for many business owners, and as a new business the last thing you want is to get tangled up in red tape. Some people have a certain perception of risk assessment practices as overly cautious and more of a burden than anything else. However, getting professional consultation on UK health and safety issues is vital across many different industries, and you can’t afford to get this wrong when you’re just starting out. Here are some of the different areas you might need to consider depending on your niche.
In the construction industry, health and safety is obviously an issue due to the involvement of heavy machinery, working in potentially unsafe buildings and so on. However, risk assessment in this field should go far beyond the obvious. Hazardous chemicals used on sites such as paint and substances used to treat wood or metal can have devastating long term health effects. Cancer rates within construction are particularly high, which has largely been attributed to asbestos but is also closely linked to fumes from paint and petrol. Excessive noise and vibration must also be assessed formally as these pose a high risk.
Retail environments may at first glance seem a world away from dangerous construction sites, but hazards and risks must be accounted for and some of them may be just as severe. The higher likelihood of members of the public being at risk to the same threats as employees can complicate the matter. The most common areas that must be looked into by professional advisors include slip or trip hazards, and operating equipment used for deliveries and handling. The potential risk of violence in the workplace must also be accounted for.
If you enter the property market you are responsible for the safety level of the property you own, whether you are becoming a landlord and taking on tenants or selling it on to someone else. Strict regulations are in place in the UK to ensure things like fire safety in homes is taken seriously, including standards for fire escapes, internal doors and electricity supplies.
Above are only three examples of areas that you would absolutely need to look into professional health and safety risk assessment service providers for help with if you were starting your own business in the field. We have also listed only a small number of typical risk areas for each industry. In reality the level of detail you will need to go into in order to ensure you are compliant with UK law is quite in-depth, so think carefully before cutting corners.