When we think of safety health and welfare in the workplace, most people think construction sites, chemicals, oil rigs etc. But the Safety Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 provides for the minimum requirements for all workplaces. So if you are a global company with 500 employees or you run the local corner shop with 5 employees, the legalisation applies to both instances. While there are responsibilities laid out in legalisation for the employees to act in a responsible manner to protect both themselves and their colleagues, we will only deal with employer’s obligations here today.
The employer must ensure that the physical environment is adequate. This includes adequate ventilation, fresh air, lighting. Entrance and exit routes must be kept clear and parking facilities should be safe and clear. The employer should provide adequate welfare facilities, toilet etc. Any employee working outside should have access to proper PPE. The workplace should also be designed to facilitate any employee with a disability. If, as an employer, business owner or facility manager you do one thing everyday or week, make sure
1. There is correct fire fighting equipment, it has been inspected, records kept
2. All emergency routes are clear from obstruction and clearly sign posted
3. All emergency lighting is adequate, inspected and records kept
4. Fresh air and ventilation
5. Adequate welfare facilities in place
6. Provision of clean, safe drinking water
If you TICC (Test, Inspect, Check, Comply) these boxes, you are half way there.