With the news headlines full of stories about the ongoing economic uncertainty and few signs that the credit crunch is getting better, many people in work might be feeling glad just to have a job. However with the recession placing even greater financial pressures on small, medium and large businesses, the is always the worry that those in charge might be tempted to save money through cuts in health and safety budgets in an effort to keep profits up.
Small business environments can present many health and safety risks to staff and customers, as often with lower numbers of staff there is more pressure on employee’s time leaving less time for tasks such as reviewing health and safety policy. However as Camps Solicitors have found out from the hundreds of shop accident claims we deal with every year, neglecting health and safety obligations can be far more damaging to a businesses finances, in terms of time taken off work by injured employees, and any fines imposed for breaches of health and safety regulations.
Shop workers, more than most other small business employees, are exposed to potential dangers on a daily basis. Heavy shelves may be over-stocked and may become unstable, posing a risk that they might fall, or that items on them may fall, injuring anyone below. Employees might also be required to lift heavy boxes when stocking the shop and without proper manual handling training they might run the risk of back injuries and muscle strain, which can leave them unable to work for extended periods. Other dangers include spills on the shop floor and in storeroom areas, and items left on the floor and in corridors that might pose a tripping hazard.