Opening a New Business: The Essential Security Checklist

Starting a new business involves planning and completing a series of legal activities. It also involves securing the health and safety of your employees as well as cyber security. You’ll need to make sure you comply with OHS (Occupational Health and Safety) requirements and keep your business safe from cyber security threats and hacking attempts. As a new business owner, you must protect all data held within the company and provide a robust security strategy.

However, to have a good security plan you should also have a good business plan. Consider a business plan template to help you quickly write down the details of your company, including how you plan to secure it.

Read on to learn more about the essential security measures you should take when opening a new business.

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Health and safety in the workplace

Risk assessments and health and safety policy

Employers should assess the risks in their workplace and put a plan in place to control or prevent them. A risk assessment should identify the hazards and risks that can cause injury or illness, and identify measures to remove those hazards and control the risks. For example, if your company deals with hazardous fluids you must consider investing in dependable safety containers. A one gallon metal gas can, for instance, will help you safely handle and store gasoline or other flammable liquids in smaller quantities.

In addition to assessing the risks, you should create a health and safety policy to explain how you plan to manage risks, including who will be responsible for what in the case of an accident. Note that all organizations are required to have this type of policy. Make sure you have regular meetings with your employees and ask their opinion on health and safety, how risks are controlled, and the best way of providing information and training.

Information and training

Employers are legally required to identify and provide information and training to ensure that their employees can carry out tasks safely and without risk to their health. So, you need to think about induction training for new employees that covers areas such as first aid and fire safety as well as other safe working practices.

Training may also be required for workers who change roles, take on new responsibilities, or become exposed to increased risks. Inexperienced employees that are at risk must also conduct training, as well as health and safety representatives. You need to display the OSHA workplace poster, which informs workers of their rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

First aid and insurance

Employers need to make sure their employees receive immediate medical attention if injured or ill at work. Conduct a first aid assessment, and deliver first aid training to employees, just make sure you have the right equipment and trained personnel for that. The law requires businesses to have a stocked first aid kit, provide information to all employees about the first-aid procedures, and have an appointed person or people who will be in charge of first-aid procedures. This includes looking after the equipment and calling the emergency services if an accident or incident occurs.

Employers are also legally required to purchase employers’ liability insurance. In case an employee gets ill or injured in the workplace, they can claim compensation. Other common insurance policies for small businesses include public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, business property coverage, and others.

Report accidents and illness and keep records

The IIF (Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities) program has a wide range of information about workplace injuries and illnesses. The OSHA requires the Secretary of Labor to adopt regulations in two areas of recordkeeping. One is requiring employers to maintain accurate records of reports on work-related injuries, illnesses, and death, while the other requires them to keep and maintain records regarding the causes and prevention of occupational injuries and illnesses.

For instance, if you have more than 10 employees, you’re legally required to have an accident book and use it whenever a workplace accident occurs. Keeping records will help you see patterns of injuries that will help you perform future risk assessments. Note that this is also very useful when dealing with insurance companies.

Cyber security

Keeping your business safe from cyber-attacks is even more difficult today than it was in the past. Not only have businesses completely moved online but also did the criminals. According to research, 81% of organizations around the globe have experienced an increase in email phishing attacks. That’s why business owners must take responsibility and provide an adequate security strategy to protect their information and data.

Some of the essential security checklist items for your business include password security, Wi-Fi and cloud security, permissions to access company files, as well as backups, antivirus, and firewalls. Keep in mind that a business without a strong security policy is bound to be targeted eventually, so make sure you’re ready when that happens.

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In closing

If there’s one absolutely critical thing to remember, it’s that you should always provide health and safety in the workplace, as well as protect your business’s data. As an employer, you must bear the responsibility for the safety of your employees, which requires you to ensure that your workplace and working conditions are as safe as possible. Follow our checklist to help you assess your responsibilities with ease and help you organize better.  

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