Everyone’s business experiences a health and safety problem at some point.
The list of possibilities for workplace injury, illness, or even death might be endless.
Slips and trips, burns, gas, spillages, asbestos, structural collapses, tight spaces, strains. We could sit here all day and list the many ways that you or one of your employees or colleagues could suffer at work.
But instead, how about we go through the ways that you can make sure that your staff are aware of and adhere to your company’s health and safety policy?
In many instances below–what applies to your staff might also apply to visitors, contractors, and any other persons who could be affected by your health and safety policies.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 does outline the responsibilities that an employer like you has for the health & safety of their staff while they’re working for you.
Health and safety is, for many, a chore. It involves paperwork, it sounds boring, and it isn’t pleasant. So a week’s worth of policy reading about health & safety isn’t going to look persuasive to anyone in your employ.
Provide up-to-date information that is written simplistically so everyone can follow it. The information should include:
Think email. Think white papers. Think employee/company handbooks. Think specific policy folders in the filing cabinets at the back of the office. Or, if you’ve gone paperless, on your company’s intranet/storage cloud. Then, once you’ve made and stored said policies, send them to your staff. Make access as easy as possible.
If you’ve made your staff aware of your policies and procedures, you’ll probably have a better defence if someone takes you to an employment tribunal if they suffer an injury.
It never hurts anyone to put your employees through their health & safety training paces. Whether you’ve got a team of veteran engineers or junior salespeople, you want all staff to have a minimum level of training, that is, ideally, state-of-the-art.
To do this, you could invite health & safety specialists to your workplace to give talks, hold training exercises, lead discussions, and then even invigilate assessments. If you want to ensure people are learning what they’re being taught, what better proof than an assessment at the end? We all yearn for those long-gone days of exam revision after all, don’t we?
Additional resources such as web-based tools, videos, case studies and incentives such rewarding your employees with a salary review can all be effective methods for helping your employees to learn about how they follow your company’s health & safety policy.
Whether it’s hard hats, masks, safety footwear, jackets, hivis vests – make it available for your staff.
Once you’ve done this, run an instructional course on how to correctly use and maintain all equipment, and if you want to be really thorough again, put your staff through another assessment.
You know the drill. If the floor is wet, get out the yellow sign.
If your workplace bears any significant risk that cannot be avoided or control in another way, ensure there is a sign to inform staff, thus lowering the risk of injury.
Ensure you have the correct cover and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stock your first aid kit and ensure that everyone knows who the first aider(s) is. You should assess (regularly) your first aid situation. If your company is growing exponentially, you might need to add personnel to your first aid team.
Contact us for further information.
Guest Blogger – Kate Palmer