Any length of absence can be disruptive to employers, but there are particular extra considerations...
As you are probably well aware, as an employer, it is your responsibility to protect the health and safety of your employees. Many of the actions taken are probably done without a second thought, such as ensuring that the workplace and equipment used are safe and risks are mitigated. However, there are some aspects that might not be as obvious, and many that might appear to be HR tasks rather than health and safety, but it is still just as important to ensure these are carried out too.
- Risk Assessments – whilst general risk assessments are probably second nature, particularly during the pandemic, if any employees have any specific needs, such as an illness, disability or are pregnant, then they may require a specific assessment based on their individual needs.
- Policies – a policy can help ensure that everyone understands what it expected of them and what processes are in place to ensure a safe workplace.
- Making sure records are kept up to date – this can be as simple as ensuring that all employees’ basic details are up to date, including their next of kin (which hopefully will never need to be used). However, it can also include ensuring that sickness records and return to work interviews are updated, as this can help ensure that you know any specific requirements for particular employees.
- Employee wellbeing – health and safety not only includes the physical health of your employees, but also includes their mental wellbeing. Therefore, it is important to ensure that this side is also supported, and any issues are addressed as quickly as possible.
- Communication & Education – it is not just you as the employer that is responsible for health and safety, all employees are also responsible for ensuring that they do their part to keeping themselves and others safe. Therefore, it is important to ensure that employees understand this and what is expected of them, either through policies, meetings, training or a combination of all.
- Culture – having a culture that promotes safe behaviour can help ensure that all employees do their bit to make the workplace as safe as possible and allows them to raise any issues they see.
Ensuring that you follow health and safety requirements not only ensures that you stay on the right side of the law, avoiding substantial penalties and even criminal convictions in serious cases, but it can also ensure that you have a healthier, safer, and more productive workforce. If you need any support or have any queries about health and safety in your workplace, then we are happy to help. You can contact us either by phoning 0117 970 2755 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.