Safe working practices

As an employer, you have a legal duty of care to protect your employees by implementing safe working practices. You know you’ve got to do it. But do you know how to do it?

Safe working practices are the backbone of your Health & Safety management. Without them, you lack, well, safety! But it’s not just that. They provide tangible structure and consistency, and give you a benchmark of expectations to roll out across your business.

If you’re not a Health & Safety expert it can be hard to know your processes from your procedures, and your policies from your handbooks. The good news? With us by your side, you don’t need to be an expert at everything.

To see how we can help you with your business’ safe working practices, simply fill in the form below.

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Safe systems of work

Your safe working practices stem from having sufficient Health & Safety procedures, processes, policies and handbooks in place. But the buck doesn’t stop there. You need to make sure all of these are clearly communicated and understood across the board, and that employees are up-to-date with relevant training courses – like manual handling and working at height, for example.

So, where do you start? Let’s take a look at some key areas that’ll help you to adopt safe working practices…

Health & Safety handbook

Handbooks play an important part in rolling out clarity around Health & Safety standards and responsibilities. They ensure employees know what’s expected of them, and that they know what they should expect in return, too.

If done properly, Health & Safety handbooks help to drive engagement and adoption around the business, which goes a long way to minimising accidents. In addition, should an employee disregard your processes, your Health & Safety handbook provides a written point of reference for you to fall back on.

To get a feel for what your Health & Safety handbook should look like, download our free template here.

Risk assessments

Risk assessments can be completed for anything from equipment use and COSHH, to display screens and manual handling. To take the hassle out of them, Citation clients have access to almost a 1,000 risk assessment templates in our online management platform, Atlas.

Why are they so important? Because risk assessments make sure that any hazards associated with a specific task are identified, evaluated, eliminated, reduced or controlled. The end result? Safer set-ups and fewer incidents. For an introduction to risk assessment, check out our free guide on them here.

Health & Safety procedures

The outcome of your risk assessments helps to map out safe working procedures. Whether it’s how to safely unload heavy goods from a vehicle or how to use a piece of equipment correctly, your procedures should clearly inform every employee on how they need to tackle various tasks – safely.

Health & Safety policies

If you’ve got five or more employees on your books, you’re legally required to have a written Health & Safety policy in place. Although not a legal requirement, we’d still recommend having one if you have a workforce of fewer than five.

Your policies should cover how you’ll manage things like accident reporting, working in confined spaces and emergency plans, to gas safety, legionella and lone working – and a whole load more, too. Each policy is its own entity, and should include a breakdown of things like:

  • A description of what it is
  • Why it’s important
  • Who it effects
  • Associated hazards
  • Employer responsibilities
  • Employee responsibilities.

Failure to comply with your policy obligations could land you with quite a hefty fine. Did you know, you could be fined £20,000 in a Magistrates Court if you don’t have written policies in place? Or face an unlimited fine in the Crown Court?

Worth the risk? We thought not. To see how we can keep you clear of substantial fines, get in touch with our Health & Safety experts on 0345 844 1111 or hello@citation.co.uk.

Safety regulations

Your responsibility to implement and maintain safe working practices is governed by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Under these regulations, you’re required to ensure the safety of your employees (as well as anyone who could be affected by their work) by removing, controlling or reducing risks in the workplace.

On top of this, you must make sure competent people are appointed for Health & Safety, employees receive sufficient training, and communication is clearly co-ordinated and understand by all relevant employees – and that’s to name just a few.

For an in-depth look at what the regulations mean for you, get in touch with our team of experts.

How we can help

When it comes to Health & Safety, we know what we’re talking about. Our experts help 1,000s businesses – like yours –take a seamless approach to their obligations every single day.

Citation clients get bespoke Health & Safety handbooks and policies, 24/7 access to industry-leading specialists, unlimited use of Atlas, legislative updates, free digital training courses, and around the clock access to 100s of online factsheets, tools and templates – and much, much more.

To find out more about what you get with us, give us a call on 0345 844 1111, or drop us a line on hello@citation.co.uk.

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