New Start Up during COVID
The recent COVID 19 pandemic has unfortunately meant redundancies and business closures; but this has made an opportunity for people to jump into self employment meaning there a quite a few new start up businesses appearing.
It may not be as exciting or glamourous as designing your branding or ordering your first reusable coffee cup with your logo on. But considering what Health and Safety measures you need to implement should not be dismissed and could have serious, long term and costly consequences if not addressed.
Health and Safety applies to every industry, with considerable legislation covering employees, contractors, the public and your assets meaning whatever your business does, it will apply to you!
Health & Safety from the start
If you have a check list of things you need to start your business up insurance is likely to be on there maybe to help you get the finances you need or to secure a business location. Though just as with an investment in a new purchase such as a car, insurance is required but we then need to put measures in place to help us avoid claiming on the insurance.
You train yourself to drive safely, wear the right PPE (seatbelt!), and risk assess each time you travel for weather conditions, traffic etc. You need to apply the same approach when you invest in starting and maintaining your business and for each activity within it. Getting things right from the beginning will help to avoid having to claim on your insurance, or reduce the claim if things do go wrong.
There are several reasons to think about Health and Safety when starting up a new business but the two main reasons are legal requirements and your moral responsibility. The first reason: quite simply you are legally obliged to under The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (1974). Secondly, your business has a reputation and you are going to want to shout about it to everyone that will listen so you want your business to be known as a safe and reputable company to your customers, clients and employees.
What you need to do
To get started you will need to think about what industry specific legislation covers your new business as this will dictate some of the procedures and documentation you will require. After this completing risk assessments and producing policies will ensure you can demonstrate your commitment to Health & Safety in your business.
Having someone identified as a Competent Person is also a legal requirement. The competent person can be you as the owner of the business but if you do not feel comfortable in having the right knowledge to legally do this is can be outsourced and that is where Health and Safety Support Services can help; advising on the right level of compliance and bespoke requirements of your business.
So don’t let Health and Safety drop down your list of priorities when it comes to your new business, get it right at the start and it will set your business up for great things!