8 Must watch TED talks for small business owners
Feeling a drop in motivation? TED talks never fail to fire us up. Here are some of our favourites......Read More
They range from getting the right insurance to making sure your workplace is safe and hazard-free.
Whether you employ staff or not, you may need insurance if your work puts you in contact with the public.
Public liability cover is designed to pay out if a customer or other member of the public is injured or has their property damaged as a result of something you or your business are responsible for.
So if a customer slips on a wet floor in your shop or café and makes a claim against you, your insurance should pay out. Similarly if you are a tradesman and you cause damage in a customer’s home you should be covered.
If you have staff, you will in most circumstances be required by law to buy employers’ liability insurance. This covers claims from employees who suffer injury or illness as a result of working for you.
The vast majority of employers need this type of policy but if you employ only family members, there is no legal requirement to take out insurance – although it may nonetheless be sensible to do so.
If you have bought employers’ liability insurance you need to display the certificate of cover where employees and health and safety inspectors can view it.
The best way of avoiding claims from employees is by maintaining a safe workplace. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) says that for most small businesses, managing health and safety doesn’t need to be complicated, expensive or time-consuming.
Rachel Grant from the HSE Growth and Business Unit says: “If you have taken reasonable steps to prevent accidents or harm to your employees – and the injury or illness was caused after 1 October 2013 – you shouldn’t have to pay compensation.”
If you have five employees or more, you should have a written health and safety policy. This should state who has overall responsibility for health and safety and who has day-to-day responsibility, as well as what these responsibilities entail – for example, making sure fire escape routes are clear and well signed.
It should also say where the first aid box and accident book are located.
The HSE has some tools to help you draw up your own policy on its website here.
This entails working out what the potential hazards are in your business. For low-risk workplaces such as shops and offices, the HSE has an interactive risk-assessment tool.
Once the assessment has been carried out, you should work out what steps are needed to minimise risks.
Again, if you have five or more members of staff, you will need to make a written record of this assessment and the conclusions you’ve drawn.
Grant adds: “Few workplaces stay the same and sooner or later you will bring in new equipment, substances or procedures that could lead to new hazards. It makes sense to review your risk assessment on a regular basis. If anything significant changes, check your risk assessment and update it.”
You should talk to your staff about any concerns they have about workplace safety, as well as tell them about any new measures or policies.
Depending on the size and nature of your business you may need to offer training, although this could be as basic as explaining the fire evacuation procedure or showing employees how to use the first aid kit.
It should be clear who is responsible for first aid arrangements, and you should keep a record of any mishaps in an accident book.
Certain serious accidents or near-misses should be officially reported: for more guidance, see here.
Finally, every employer must display the health and safety law poster or provide a pocket card copy to each member of staff.
Great customer service from Bhavni Manek to set up new business contracts...
"Had an excellent customer service experience with Bhavni Manek to set up new business contracts and run me through all the details. She was very efficient at finding quotes and answering questions and made me feel reassured about the transition to new energy suppliers."This review was posted by Emma Thomsen on the 18th of August 2017
Jessica Purnell at SwitchMyBusiness has …
"Jessica Purnell at SwitchMyBusiness has been most helpful and very efficient. Our business has made a real saving on our electricity supply and all it took was a few minutes on the telephone. Thank you"This review was posted by David Hanley on the 18th of August 2017
Mark Weeks did an excellent job in …
"Mark Weeks did an excellent job in giving me all the information I needed and explaining everything."This review was posted by Terry on the 18th of August 2017
This the second time I have used …
"This the second time I have used SwitchMyBusiness and i have received excellent service from Jessica Purnell on both occasions.I would recommend anyone to use this company as you know that they are acting independently and trying to get the best deal for you."This review was posted by H Barrington on the 18th of August 2017
Mark Weeks was my contact point with …
"Mark Weeks was my contact point with this company and I have been extremely pleased with the way in which he explained everything to me in an informative, friendly way."This review was posted by Mr CHRISTOPHER GEORGE on the 18th of August 2017