There is no doubt that London plays a key role in contributing to the overall UK economy. It is estimated that London as a whole contributes over £400 billion to the country’s national annual income. That is partly due to the many small businesses and enterprises that operate across the London area. Whether you run a café, a restaurant or shop in the capital, the revenue you generate is vital to the UK as a whole.
Of course, running a business in London brings with it many challenges and there are important factors to consider. Chief among them is the health concerns that you may have to deal with as part of your daily operations. It is vital to be aware of them, so you can cater for them and deal efficiently with any problems that arise.
What health issues can affect your business?
When it comes to important health concerns that need to be taken into account, it is crucial to remember they can affect your staff as well as your customers. To meet your legal and social responsibilities your duty as a business owner is to look after both.
Here are some of the most common health related matters to be aware of:
• Working conditions – for your employees, you have a responsibility as an employer to make sure their working conditions are suitable. The environment that you provide for them to complete their daily tasks should not be too hot, too cold or in any way hazardous to their health. That requirement covers every kind of business from manufacturing to shops and cafes, bars and restaurants.
• Food safety – if your business is a café or restaurant in London that serves food to customers, then you need to be fully aware of, and comply with, the food safety regulations. That applies to your whole business and anyone within it that prepares or handles food in any way. Each member of staff that handles food needs a Food Hygiene Certificate. In addition, businesses in London can opt to display a Food Hygiene Rating sticker to show how the
inspector has rated the premises after carrying out an inspection.
That is advisable so that customers can see that the establishment has been assessed as being safe for the public to consume food and drink purchased on the premises. If you need a full run-down on the full Food Standard Agency regulations for businesses that handle food, you can check the
• Health and safety risks – one legal area to be concerned about when running a business anywhere in London is health and safety. You should be conducting regular inspections to make sure your workplace presents no health and safety risks for your staff.
That covers a wide range of possible risk, but it is often just a matter of applying some common sense. For a restaurant for example, it may be the requirement to mark potentially hazardous steps, so that waiting staff do not trip. In a shop, making sure no heavy boxes are placed high on shelves that could fall and cause injury. Naturally, the safety rules also apply to customers who must not be put at risk when on your premises. For example, never leave boxes cluttering your shop floor that customers might fall over.
• Pest control – commercial pest control is a must for any London business premises. That is especially true for anywhere that serves food, but it is vital for any organisation that has an identified problem in this area. If you think you may have an issue with pests on your premises, then getting a professional company in to resolve the issue properly is vital.
• Asbestos – although this is becoming less of a problem because it was not used in newer buildings, it can still be present in some older structures. If present and disturbed in some way, asbestos is a serious risk to health for your staff and customers, so it must be dealt with if discovered to be present. Please do not try to deal with this yourself. Any removal of asbestos from your premises needs to be carried out by a specialist asbestos removal company.
• Poor staff training or standards – one real health issue that could affect London businesses is staff not knowing what the standards are they should be working to uphold. Staff training is key here, so they know about the basics like washing their hands before handling food. That also extends to factors such as regular kitchen deep cleaning and preparing food in the correct way. It also covers factors such as the evacuation procedures in a building in the event of fire or some other emergency.
• Waste disposal – any London business will naturally produce waste that needs to be disposed of properly. From waste food in restaurants or bars, to shops that have various types of waste to get rid of, it all needs to be done in the correct way. That is especially true for any hazardous waste material that may need disposing of in a distinct way for safety reasons. One other key thing to think about is to arrange for any business waste to be collected regularly, so that no bins are left overflowing.
As you can see, there are quite a few health concerns that may affect your business in London. All business owners need to be aware of them, so make sure you have a clear understanding of what is required to ensure compliance.
Health issues are a key concern for business
When running your own business in London, taking care of the various health concerns that might arise is essential. This will not only help to protect your staff when working but also look after the safety of your customers.