Starting your own business is an exciting endeavor. You’re chasing the dream of running your own company, controlling your own destiny, and it all started with an idea. You’ve worked hard to cultivate that idea and form a company that can successfully provide a product or service to the consuming public. Now, have you missed any steps along the way when forming your company?

If you haven’t thought about the health and safety of your workforce, you should turn your attention to workplace safety immediately. You are responsible for the safety of the employees in your building, customers visiting your facility, and anybody using your products and services. If this seems overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. Below you’ll find a list of health and safety must-haves for your startup.

Register Your Business

If your new business works in a hazardous industry, the UK government needs to know about it. Most businesses operating within a hazardous industry require a license to operate and must be registered with the Health and Safety Executive, or other local authority. Learn more about those guidelines and registration steps by visiting the official HSE website.

Risk Assessments

Regardless of the industry youoperate in, you need to meet minimum health and safety standards. With that said, it is always a good idea to go above the minimum health and safety levels. A risk assessment is the best place to start. The assessment identifies hazards within the business, such as cables, loose floor tiles, and other obstacles that pose trip/fall potential. Other risks include hazardous substances, excessive noise, and moving vehicles.

Review the findings of the assessment and determine what actions (if any) should be taken. It is a good idea to reassess the risks in your business environment every six months or when significant changes take place to ensure you still meet standards.

Employee Health and Safety Rights

Your top priority should be the health and safety of your employees in the workplace each day. Simple things you are required to provide include access to clean toilets, hand basins, soap, and means to dry their hands. Additional requirements include fresh drinking water, sufficient space to operate comfortably, and proper lighting and ventilation.

Serious Issues

Beyond the simple health and safety rights mentioned above, you also need to plan for the occurrence of serious incidents. These incidents can involve both your employees and your customers, and insurance coverage is a good way to provide protection to your business, as well as support to employees and customers. Employers’ liability insurance is a good place to start, but you should also consider access to first aid and a system for handling and reporting serious incidents. For more information about employers’ liability insurance, read this guide at Make It Cheaper.

Your Business and the Community

Finally, you need to keep in mind the impact your business may have on the local community. Everything from the waste your business generates to the electrical and electronic equipment used in business operations could have a negative impact on the environment in your local community. Familiarize yourself with EU and UK regulations which layout the steps you must take to deal with these potential hazards, and others.

Steve Talbot is an export business owner and avid environmentalist. When he’s not working in his yard, he’s writing about his experiences on the web.

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