Hi everyone from Cornwall Training & Consultancy.

Firstly, a big thanks to the amazing team at Whyfield for asking me to write this month’s article for their newsletter.

I’m Amy, the Business Development Executive at Cornwall Training & Consultancy. We’re a Training, Health and Safety, HR, Apprenticeships and Event Medical Cover provider based in sunny St Austell! Please feel free to connect with me on Linkedin or check out our website for more information.

Today, I am going to share some top tips on how to take the stress out of your business’s compliance… so let’s get started!

Health and Safety in the UK

When I say the words ‘Health and Safety’ to people, their eyes sometimes glaze over but we all know how important it is to work safely.

Did you know that in the administration sector in 2020, 106,000 workers were suffering from work-related ill-health (new or long-standing)? In the construction sector, there were an estimated 81,000 work-related ill-health cases (new or longstanding) and 57% of these were musculoskeletal disorders. – Health & Safety Executive (HSE)

Those are scary statistics and they really highlight the importance of quality Health and Safety policies and procedures. HSE are also spot-checking businesses across the UK and will want to know what measures you have in place.

You may be thinking, how do you even get started?! What are my legal requirements?

As an employer, once you employ 5 or more people, you have a legal obligation to have your Health and Safety Policy and Risk Assessments written down.

Health and Safety in Your Workplace

You should elect someone from your team who will handle Health and Safety on a daily basis. You should ensure they have appropriate Health and Safety training so that they understand their role and stay on top of your compliance.

Here are a few things to think about:

Documentation

It is important to make sure that everything is written down and documented. Don’t forget important documentation such as risk assessments, COSHH assessments, DSE assessments, method statements, fire risk assessments, fire policies etc.

Health and Safety Equipment

You should make sure you have PPE, first aid kits (which should be wall-mounted!), fire extinguishers, safety signage, an accident reporting book and a near miss book.

PAT Testing

Ensure all portable electrical equipment is safe to use.

Team Talks

Have you spoken to your team about how to work safely? Have you made them aware of any changes, policies etc?

Recent Health and Safety Concerns

Lately, there have been two main concerns for our Health and Safety clients.

COVID-19

The last year has been a whirlwind for us all. There have been what feels like endless worries around staying safe whilst also trying to run a business in a safe and secure way.

As an employer, it is essential that you have a COVID-19 risk assessment, social distancing measures, strict cleaning and hygiene measures, PPE, handwashing facilities, hand sanitiser and appropriate ventilation in place.

You can find out more about being COVID-19 secure in our recent Linkedin article.

Hybrid Working

Your team may be working at home, in the office or hybrid working. Whatever your chosen working pattern, it is important to look after your staff, both in the office and at home.

We work in partnership with Natalie Swift at Swift HR. Natalie has been busy supporting our clients and helping them understand all things HR and hybrid working.

Here are a few things that we think you should be thinking about:

  • Are you regularly checking in on your team members? How are they feeling? Are they happy to be back at work? It would be a good idea to have a Mental Health First Aider within your organisation and also ensure that you have a Health and Wellbeing Policy and are aware of signposting Mental Health organisations in case they are required.
  • Have you spoken to your team about the measures you have put in place to keep them safe?
  • Do they know what they need to do in order to work safely?
  • Do all of your staff have a contract? Is it up to date for their job, and where they work?
  • How recently did you review your Employment Handbook policies? Are they in need of a refresh?
  • Do staff have the appropriate technology in place to work effectively?
  • Have a chat with your staff. A lot of people get so busy in the day to day and forget to communicate the processes and also to ask staff how they feel and what they think.
  • Have you recently completed DSE Assessments? It is important to ensure that your team have appropriate workstations and avoid the risk of fatigue, backache, eye strain or musculoskeletal disorders.

The key points to take away from this are that communication is key. Ensure that everyone understands what is going on, how to work safely and that people feel supported. You want to be sure that everybody is happy at work.

Have you heard about the HSE’s new Stress Indicator Tool? It’s a great way to track your staff’s stress levels.

Additionally, ensure that you regularly review your policies and procedures to keep them current and compliant. There have been a lot of changes over the last 18 months, do your policies reflect that?

Let’s talk training

Training is a great way to develop your team’s skillset and knowledge bank. There are so many courses available across all sectors. You can find out more about our courses on our website.

However, before you start booking courses, do you have a training matrix for your business?

A training matrix is a great way to record the courses that your team have completed, plan for future courses/development and keep an eye on your renewal dates. (Don’t worry…If you’re a Cornwall Training client, we let you know when you’re due to renew!)

There are so many courses out there, so it is important to sit down with each member of your team and look at:

  • What courses are a LEGAL requirement for your business?
  • Do you need accredited or bespoke training?
  • What training would help your employees do their job better?
  • What subjects would be of interest to your team?
  • Do you need to be completing CPD annually?
  • Have any of your past qualifications expired?
  • Will you complete the training face to face or online?

By building a comprehensive training plan, your team will feel supported and thrive and you will also be compliant. Win, win!

If you are unsure about the best local providers, please reach out and I may be able to recommend providers across all sectors from machinery to marketing and sales!

I hope that you have found this information useful, if you would like to schedule a free, no-obligation chat with our team, contact me via email at amyc@cornwalltraining.com or over the phone on 07596144778/ 01726 932293.