It’s that time of year again. The bank holiday weekend has been and gone, school holidays are nearly over and many of you are busy preparing for the new school year, buying uniforms and labelling numerous items of clothing.
Having enjoyed the summer holiday and spending time with your family, it will soon be back to business as usual as the daily routine sets in. It’s a process most families go through, but it’s also one that could easily be mirrored in business.
Although it’s not the start of a new school year for us at Hundred Acre, September is the start of our new financial year. As our financial year finishes in August, we’ve recently spent time making sure 2015/16 has been can be closed off and preparing for our next year in business.
Just like preparing for your children to go back to school or moving into a new financial year, this is a perfect time to take a look at all the health and safety procedures you have in place and consider what needs to be implemented or changed.
Most business systems, including health and safety management systems, need to follow a cycle to be successfully implemented. Whether your business follows the OHSAS 18001, HS(G)65, ISO standards or any other system, they all follow the same principles; plan, do, check, act. Each part leads onto the next, just like school terms.
What do you need to do to follow the cycle?
If your system is new, it’s time to plan. Ask yourself:
• What do you do?
• What do you need to do?
• Who can do what?
• What help do we need?
If your system is established, it’s time to ask yourself:
• What has changed in our business?
• What has changed in health and safety legislation?
• What problems have there been during the previous year?
• What was good or bad?
• What new equipment or people have we got?
Taking time to plan a new year in business makes things work a little more smoothly. A good health and safety management system has synergies with lots of other aspects of business, and a little time and planning can pay dividends as they all work better together.
“Putting a safety management system in place and continually reviewing it is a really proactive step for any business.” Explains Bridget Gilmour, Hundred Acre’s founder and director. “I often meet businesses who’ve had something go wrong, or are struggling because they don’t have systems to follow. This means they end up firefighting many elements of their business. My first piece of advice is to be proactive. Health and safety doesn’t have to be complicated, and just like many parts of running a business, ignoring it is not a good move.”
We often forget that people don’t know as much about health and safety as we do here at Hundred Acre, and we’ve been wondering what questions you might like to ask us. If there are any topics you would like us to cover in this blog, please don’t hesitate to let us know. You can contact us using the contact details above or join in the conversation on social media using the hashtag #AskHundredAcre. We look forward to hearing from you.