(Or perhaps buying a business or opening a new branch.)

Firstly, write a health and safety policy. Then review it. This will flag the risk assessments that need doing. Naturally then, the next stage is to complete those risk assessments. Where are the potential problems? Where might your business be exposed?

Look at first aid training of some kind in the first instance and enrol two or three staff members (more maybe, depending on the size of the company). Also do some manual handling training. You’ll also need someone to do fire marshal training. Again, consider how many people there are in your business and think about the coverage you need. If there are fifty of you, choosing one part-time employee to cover first aid and fire marshal duties isn’t going to be enough.

Also consider the type of business you are and the environment you work in. The risks, and consequent training needs, will vary depending on whether you operate out of an office or you have a light manufacturing component to the business, or you have a shop or café. Do you take deliveries? Or make deliveries? Do you have a forklift on site? The training needs of a company or organisation need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Effective and satisfactory training of staff is the responsibility of the company, not the individual. And the company is represented by people in a number of positions: owners, directors and most pertinently, whoever the manager or most senior person on site is. It’s important to document everything you do in health and safety – starting with the policies you develop and roll-out. Check that everyone has received them and read them. Document any incidents that might take place – what happened, what action you took and what the outcome was. Document everything.

The core training that ANY business needs to undertake is safety training, manual handling and fire marshal training. You also need to remember that the numbers of people who require training will depend on how many people in the business. And consider the type of business you are and where the risks might be.