It’s easy to take safety guidelines with a pinch of salt when you are a small trades business or one-person company. After all, safety takes time and effort, and it can get in the way of getting your job finished quickly. The trouble is, you are leaving yourself open to serious injury, and can also end up in trouble with the law. So, if you are used to playing with fire, follow these this from now on so that you don’t get burnt.
Always have a Procedure
It’s worth spending a little time to draw up a safety system for the type of work you do. This way, you can approach each job in a structured way, and have a checklist to mark off when you understand the nature of the work. It’s vital to understand the general dangers of your trade, and always have these in mind when approaching any new project. With a checklist, you can ensure you never leave anything out.
Risk assess every Job
As we mentioned above, it’s vital to perform a risk assessment of every job. If you have employees, make sure everyone knows what to do, and how to make their reports. For example, what happens if you find yourself in front of a project that requires something beyond your qualifications? You – or your employees – should have a process in place to notify somebody that has the skills.
Accidents can happen no matter how rigorous your safety plan. With this in mind, it is vital to insure yourself against the real possibility that something will happen while you are working. Don’t forget; it’s not just your safety that you need to consider. It’s also the safety of your customers, or any other tradespeople working on the site. Without insurance, you will have to meet any accident claim against you with your finances.
Invest in Training
Your trades qualifications will include a lot of safety aspects within them, of course. But it’s also worth continuing your education. Set up more specialist training for you and your employees, and you will have a safer business – it’s as simple as that. If you are a roofing firm, for example, you and your staff might benefit from a working at heights course. Putting safety at the core of your business will reduce the number of accidents you experience. And, if a situation does arise, proving you take safety seriously will work in your defense in court.
Invest in Equipment
Another issue small trades businesses have is with equipment. Again, it’s a lot easier to ‘make do’ with broken or poor quality equipment. And, of course, you will often find independent tradespeople cutting corners. They may not wear helmets, protective gloves, or masks, for example. Don’t allow these sloppy habits to ruin your business. Invest in good quality gear, and make sure that you maintain everything on a regular basis.