Busting the myth: health and safety doesn't have to be complicated for small businesses

Sep 08, 2016

small business"Too complicated" is a common misconception that Harry Stewart, WSPS' Director, Small Business, hears when discussing health and safety with member firms, especially small businesses. "Costly, intrusive and inefficient" are others.

Stewart understands where the misconceptions come from. Small business owners and managers face multiple demands on their time, have fewer internal resources than many larger businesses, and above all can't afford to spend valuable time hunting for information. "But like all misconceptions," says Stewart, "they're dangerous and just not true".

"The reality is that workplace health and safety doesn't have to be complicated. Simple safety solutions exist for businesses of all sizes, often at little or no cost."

No matter what industry you're in, WSPS has tools and templates to help you build your health and safety program and know your legal requirements. In honour of Small Business Week, October 16-22, we'll soon be adding three new free resources that can help you simplify. They will all be downloadable or streamable from our Multimedia Galleries section and Videos section, and YouTube Channel:

  • infographic posters on four major hazards that are priorities for businesses in all sectors:
    • falls
    • hit by objects
    • overexertion
    • chemical exposure
  • 5 short safety videos highlighting chemical handling hazards, featuring WSPS occupational hygienist Ilma Bhunnoo
  • Three 30-second animated videos on
    • falls
    • exertion
    • struck by objects

Share the chemical handling and animated videos with colleagues and co-workers on the go. They can be viewed on tablets and smart phones, and are ideal for tailbox talks and one-on-one coaching.

These are just a sampling of WSPS' extensive online resources for businesses of all sizes. Many are free and ready to download or stream.

How WSPS can help

  • Check out our Small Business Centre. Among the resources, you'll find
    • a roadmap that describes in easy steps how to get started on health and safety and what resources can help
    • a how-to guide specifically for small businesses, featuring a six-step plan for creating a health and safety program
    • a quick "Yes" or "No" self-assessment tool for assessing your current health and safety program
  • Explore specific hazards, including related resources - training courses, e-courses, downloads, videos and more.
  • Stay up to date on the latest news and updates in the world of health and safety. Follow us on Twitter @WSPS_NEWS and subscribe to our YouTube channel