Health and safety in the workplace is a subject of the utmost importance and something that everyone who owns a business or manages a team should be thinking about. But how do you go about implementing health and safety practices and policies where there are none? Here are some of the core approaches that you should be combining.
First of all, you need to have a good idea of what the risks are in the workplace in the first place. Working with your team, you might be able to identify some of these easily, yourself, and some might be relatively obvious. However, you should be complacent just because you are able to identify and address some of the risks. Performing a risk assessment of the business can help you identify all the potential risks.
Many workplace environments are unsafe because they pose a physical risk to the individual body parts of the worker. For these environments, you need to determine what personal protective equipment you need and make sure that you always have it in supply. Gloves, helmets, goggles, and high vis gear are all the most common examples, and they need to be checked on a regular basis to make sure that they are working and reliable.
Your employees are, in part, responsible for addressing the risks that they can identify once you have assessed the risks and informed them of them. However, you need to make sure that they have the skills to navigate those risks. Aside from basic health and safety training, you need to provide more specific training like online working at height training to address the specific situations they are more likely to be in. This should also include routine re-training to help them refresh their knowledge and keep their standards up.
Marking And Signage
If you are able to identify specific areas of the business property or work site that the risk of injury is higher, then you should also inform the workers. Workplace safety signage can include reminders of how to manage risk and what equipment to wear, whereas things like floor markers can make them more conscious of level differences in flooring as well as walkways that need to be kept clear to prevent slips, trips, and falls.
Monitoring And Management
Once you have the right provisions and policies in place, you need to make sure that they are being upheld. Those who work in a field that sees a higher than average rate of injury may, for instance, want to appoint a safety officer. This is a team member with the responsibility of keeping an eye out for anything, be it employee behavior or a part of the workplace, that violates the health and safety policy and has the authority to address it.
The approaches above are all continual. There is no point where you are “done” with health and safety but, rather, it must be an ongoing effort to address dangers and make sure they are mitigated as best as possible with a combination of the tools above.
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