Employers Liability might be mandatory, but it’s a topic that is so much more than just something businesses need to buy. Keeping employees healthy and safe is vital to every business. It can be done in 5 easy steps…
Here’s how employers can look after their employees:
1. Risk Assessment
Businesses need to properly plan the work they are undertaking so all the necessary controls are in place to prevent accidents and injuries. How could the activity of their business put employees at risk?
2. Health and Safety policy document
Once you have decided what could go wrong and how to prevent it you need to ensure that employees abide by the health and safety requirements. Create a health and safety document which outlines the businesses commitment, responsibilities and general rules on how to work safety. Then make sure this is shared with all employees.
For certain tasks it will be important to put in place specific job instructions, possibly including method statements, safe systems of work and permits. Introducing induction, job specific, specialist and refresher training at the appropriate times is the only real way of being sure that they understand. Your customers also need to keep a detailed record of all training received as doing this is one of the best ways of defending a claim.
Businesses need to regularly check that the rules are being implemented and abided by. Routine housekeeping inspections, making sure that staff are wearing their Personal Protective Equipment, checking that machinery guarding is in place and that staff are following the correct procedures and using the right equipment when working at height don’t take long, but can make all the difference. If things aren’t being done safely, sometimes people will need to be reminded, or, if necessary, disciplinary procedures may have to be used, but also sometimes they aren’t following the accepted procedures because the job can’t be done that way. Make sure you understand why people aren’t behaving safely and put in place the necessary changes to make it work.
5. Record keeping
Make sure that you are providing the right opportunities for employees to record the actions they’re taking in the name of health and safety and make sure the company has procedures in place to be able to retrieve that information if it is required to defend a claim. This is particularly important when you are considering what action you take in investigating incidents once they have occurred and gathering the appropriate evidence. This evidence is essential, both in preventing incidents from happening again and in demonstrating the nature of any injuries sustained, the circumstances of the incident and the controls that were in place to prevent it.
The importance of Employer Reference Numbers
Also, don’t forget you need to ensure you provide us with an Employer Reference Number (ERN). It isn’t unusual for employees to make a claim years after they’ve left the company or for them to make a claim against more than one company. In the event of a claim, it’s important to be able to quickly identify all the companies at which the claimant has worked. If you are faced with a claim, the Employers Liability Tracing Office will be able to use their ERN to quickly demonstrate that they had insurance in place at the time of the alleged incident, making it easier to identify the insurer and make sure the claim is paid.