For any business, the safety of its employees and customers is a major concern.
But complying with workplace health and safety regulations and completing detailed risk assessments was, in the past, a daunting administrative burden for many organisations.
Small businesses were often bewildered by the task of completing an assessment. Larger organisations sometimes found that the fast moving nature of their business meant it was difficult to keep up with the amount of detailed documentation required. Some would hire expensive external consultancies to complete assessments for them.
"We complete all our assessments in-house but because we have so many betting shops and the assessments themselves are so diverse - there are 26 generic risks to a typical small betting office - the paperwork volume was very high" admits Bill Bennett, Health & Safety Manager for Ladbrokes, the UK’s biggest bookmakers. Ladbrokes currently have over 2,400 outlets across the UK, Ireland, Italy and Belgium.
But for this company, and thousands of other businesses, the time consuming complexities of health and safety risk assessments have now been simplified with the recent introduction of a one stop online service from the Health and Safety Executive.
Now, employers of all types can find all the guidance and information they need to complete their risk assessments in one place, on the website. Simple, easy to understand, industry-specific risk management plans are available to download as well as examples of common control measures.
Bill has worked in health and safety regulation for l6 years. He says this new online service for employers is a major step forward.
"Now it’s all there for you, whatever type of risk your business faces. It's very simple. It's the best thing that has happened in the safety area for our industry - there’s no reason why any betting shop, large or small, can’t follow this online procedure."
"The new online service simplifies the whole thing so much, it's actually improved the industry standard. It's that simple."