The number of people who are choosing to become self-employed or start a business is on the rise. There are many challenges along the way; getting finance and identifying a niche are two examples, as is finding suitable premises.
One aspect that is often overlooked, however, is ensuring that your new premises meet legal health and safety requirements. Here we highlight the most important considerations.
The law on premises health and safety
The basic health and safety requirements for business premises are not as complex as you may think - in fact, many are just common sense.
For example, the space needs to be clean and the temperature needs to be regulated. There needs to be an appropriate amount of space, provision for drinking water and of course toilets and washrooms.
Checking that fire safety provisions are in place is vitally important - both to control a fire if one should break out (eg sprinklers or extinguishers) and to help people escape (an alarm system; clearly marked exit routes).
The type of equipment you put into the premises will also dictate health and safety requirements. So, if you are using machinery for instance, it needs to be properly maintained so that it functions safely, and you will need to provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety training for any employee using it.
Finding premises that fit the bill
If you're taking on the task of finding business premises yourself, you could take a health and safety checklist with you when you view potential properties. Doing so helps ensure that you don't forget to check for a particular requirement, and also means you can reassess and compare properties after you leave.
Perhaps a more efficient way is to engage the services of a real estate advisory company like GVA. In this instance, the initial checks will be made for you, and recommendations made.
Health and safety risk assessments
In order to maintain health and safety standards, you will need to carry out risk assessments periodically and take steps to deal with any hazards or risks that they uncover.
Making sure your business premises meet the required health and safety standards need not be a stressful prospect. It is just a matter of taking a measured and sensible approach and then following up regularly and consistently. If in doubt, seek the advice of experts.
Copyright © 2018 Article was made possible by site supporter Victoria Harrison