Moving into a new business premises is an exciting milestone for your company. A new office space can give you room for expansion and offer the opportunity to increase sales and boost your revenue potential. Moving can also be an excellent way to improve employee morale and increase productivity levels in your business.
That said, relocating your business is a big undertaking and the move should be planned well to ensure a smooth and stress-free transition. Keep in mind that you must check that both your current commercial property and your new business premises are compliant. Business owners need to have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and know what health and safety regulations must be followed before, during and after the move. With that in mind, here are some of the inspections and regulations that you must comply with before moving into a new commercial property.
The Electricity at Work Regulations are in place to ensure that electrical devices operate as safely and efficiently as possible. Employers should follow the advice set out in the guidelines to ensure electrical safety in the workplace. In most cases, electrical systems must be inspected every five years to identify potential issues and prevent danger. For example, you should arrange a TM44 inspection survey if your business has an air conditioning unit with a cooling power of more than 12 kW. Under the guidelines, an industrial cooling unit must be inspected at least once every five years. Following the inspection, you will be provided with recommendations on how to make your cooling system more efficient, i.e., by upgrading parts. These rules are in place to ensure that electrical systems, such as air conditioning units, are operating safely and efficiently.
When you move into a new business premises, it is vitally important that you comply with the fire safety regulations. Failing to do so can have severe consequences and lead to large fines and even prosecution. Under the guidelines, the responsibility of fire safety falls on the business employer or owner of the commercial property. To comply with the regulations, you need to complete regular fire risk assessments and make your employees aware of any risks identified. You must also train your staff on fire safety and implement fire safety measures in the workplace. For example, you must have fire safety equipment like fire extinguishers and alarm systems on-site. These should be inspected regularly and well maintained to ensure that they work efficiently in an emergency. When you move into your new business premises, you will also have to appoint a ‘responsible person’ for fire safety. Often, this responsibility is given to an outside fire safety expert.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations outline a business owner’s responsibilities when it comes to gas safety. According to the guidelines, business employers are responsible for ensuring that gas appliances are installed and maintained in a safe condition. Business owners should inspect gas appliances regularly and must report suspected gas leaks or issues to their gas supplier immediately. Failing to follow the gas safety guidelines can have serious consequences, so business owners need to understand their responsibilities and follow good practices when it comes to gas safety. All inspections, maintenance, and certification of gas appliances must be completed by a registered gas safety engineer.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) requires employers to control substances that are dangerous to health. Under the guidelines, employers must eliminate or reduce the risk of exposure to potentially hazardous materials such as chemicals, bleach or dust. Employers ought to conduct a safety assessment of their business premises to identify potential hazards and then take action to mitigate the risk. This may involve providing PPE or taking steps to shield employees from exposure to hazardous materials. Employers should also make employees aware of potential hazards and provide training on how to avoid harm in the workplace. You can find more information on COSHH and the requirements by visiting the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.
Moving into a new business premises can offer several great advantages, including opportunities for expansion and the chance to increase sales and profits. That said, your business must adhere to health and safety regulations and several inspections must be completed before you move into your new office space. Understanding the legal requirements can be daunting. If you are unsure of your responsibilities, then it’s advisable to seek expert legal advice to ensure that you remain compliant.