As an employer, it's necessary to remember that there are certain laws and provisions that must be followed regarding staff well-being. Under The Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, it is the obligation of employers to keep the workplace healthy, safe, and clean for anyone working on site - as well as anyone visiting. It is important for startups and new entrepreneurs to familiarise themselves with the aspects of these regulations before they launch their business; so here we’ll highlight some of the considerations that must be taken into account for every workplace:
Maintain adequate lighting
For work and safety concerns, lighting must allow people to work and move about the workspace easily. Directed task light may also be appropriate for some employees’ workflow. While natural light should be used when possible, it's understood that this is not always available. Employers are also responsible for providing backup lighting in the event of an emergency. This lighting must be powered independently and come on automatically.
Ensure of waste disposal and clean areas
All areas should be properly cleaned throughout the workplace. In addition, waste should be disposed of on a timely basis and regularly. This practice will aid in keeping proper hygiene throughout the business.
Keep workspace and room size in mind
It might sound simple, but it's important for workrooms in your business to have enough free space so as not to impede transit and movement. Staff and visitors shouldn't have to worry about falling or hitting anything in the event they must exit quickly. When considering your business' space, use 11 cubic metres as your rule of thumb for each employee when planning. This measurement includes the necessary area for a desk and chair or also printers and other office equipment.
Supply a source of clean drinking water
Employees must also have access to drinking water. The water can be from a tap or a cistern if the cistern has been cleaned and disinfected regularly. Bottled water or dispensing units may also be used to provide your employees with adequate water throughout the day. Also, consider providing cups if it will be necessary.
Providing washroom and sanitary facilities
Every business needs to have working, easily accessible facilities for staff and visitors. Sanitary conveniences should be well lit, ventilated, and appropriate in number. Having dedicated staff to keep them clean is also an important part of the equation. Consider separating staff facilities from public ones too. This ensures that staff aren't caused to wait as long as they could be in shared arrangements. You'll also need to provide hot water in addition to cold water along with soap and hand-drying facilities.
Give employees their space with a break room
As an employer, you'll also want your employees at their peak of productivity throughout the day. Having a break room gives them the chance to recharge and eat their meals. This is especially important in workplaces where contamination from work materials may be a concern. A microwave is also a great idea to add to the space if no canteen is close by.
Safety is a top priority
Finally, we come to a safe workplace. You'll want to be conscious of any equipment or other items that could be a health risk or risk the safety of your staff. Make a sweep of the space to be sure that nothing is out of place or in a state of disrepair that could cause harm.
With these tips, you'll be pointed in the right direction for making your business a great place to work.