We come across many businesses who know they should be doing more to ensure compliance with health & safety legislation but just get behind for a variety of reasons. The problem is if things go wrong these excuses are not going to be viewed positively if an inspector comes calling.
Only this month we were asked to complete a fire and operational risk assessments for a hospitality business that had recently opened. As the business serves the public it’s vital to ensure all suitable controls are in place. We found a number of basic control measures were missing (such as training) and when presented to management the response was; we have been so busy in trying to open that some things haven’t been done. Clearly if we were the authorities our response would have been then the business should not have opened, until they were done.
Obviously every business is under pressure to start to cover its costs and at this time of year the hospitality industry does not want to miss out on its potentially most lucrative time. The trouble is for many businesses health & safety is just an afterthought. If it was viewed differently and had been considered as part of the planning, then the business could have achieved a far better result. The longer things are put off the more difficult it is in our experience to change and find the time to put things right.
Most businesses have to have risk assessments in order to meet legislative requirements and this one is no different. But what do you think would happen if the business presents risk assessments in court that identify basic controls are missing? It’s not going to go well for the business and saying it’s because you were too busy is only going to make the situation worse.
So if you manage a business why not ask yourself; would you be happy to stand up and present your risk assessments in court. For many we are sure the answer will be not on your nelly!
Also if you’re not sure what is required of your business then please seek appropriate assistance; not knowing again is not an acceptable defence.