Four key health and safety lessons emerging from COVID-19
It is easy for businesses to look at COVID-19 as a catastrophic time. The economy has taken a hit, companies across the UK are struggling financially, and many jobs have been lost on the back of the pandemic. However, it is essential to look at the positives we can take away from this stressful time and use our experiences to learn and improve on our pre-pandemic businesses.
One area where everyone had has to adapt quickly and change their thinking is in health and safety management. Here are four key health and safety lessons that have emerged from COVID-19 that businesses must learn and implement in the workplace.
Health & Safety Assessments are Vital
Writing health and safety procedures and carrying out regular assessments can often feel like a bit of an inconvenient formality. However, the coronavirus pandemic has taught us how essential these procedures are to ensure the safety of our staff and customers. The virus has given business owners a new perspective on their working practices and in some ways, that’s been a positive for employees as emphasis has been placed on prioritising wellbeing.
Costs of Health-Related Issues
As an employer, health and safety assessments are crucial not only for staff wellbeing but also because any employers that do not have rigid and thorough health and safety procedures in place are liable for prosecution. It is an employer’s duty of care to look after and provide safe working conditions for all staff. Many companies have learned this the hard way as a result of pandemic-led health issues but the heightened conversations around employee wellbeing could well led to a knock-on impact in other areas of occupational health which could well bring down the number of health-related issues reported each year.
Training is Crucial
While it is imperative to have a proper procedure in place for when problems do arise, it is essential staff are fully trained in health and safety matters and processed communicated effectively and clearly. Specifically regarding control of the virus, employees must be fully briefed on the company’s new policies and understand not only how to implement the procedures, but also understand their importance.
Responding to Change
The biggest lesson the COVID-19 pandemic has taught many of us is that change can occur without any form of warning and produce previously unbelievable circumstances. Keeping up-to-date on health and safety procedures and the UK Government’s guidelines can make it easier to respond to unpredictable situations.