Workplace health and safety is a legal obligation that all employers must adhere to. But apart from ensuring compliance and avoiding legal issues, maintaining high health and safety standards can come with a number of benefits for your business as well.
With the right processes, you will be able to protect employees properly, create a better company culture, streamline daily processes, and even save money on potential accidents and injuries. To that end, here are some essential steps you should take to ensure a high standard of health and safety in your organization:
1. Inspect The Premises Carefully
Workplace safety often starts by conducting a risk assessment of your work environment. This means carefully inspecting your premises and identifying potential risks and hazards as you go. With a thorough inspection, you will be able to make more accurate assessments, ensure nothing is overlooked, and see whether your current risk control procedures are effective.
This inspection can also allow you to identify any underlying problems behind health and safety issues in the workplace, giving you an opportunity to enhance your processes and minimize these risks.
2. Develop A Health & Safety Plan
Once you’ve managed to identify all potential hazards, you will have to devise a detailed plan on how to control them efficiently or even eliminate them entirely, if at all possible. The specific structure of a good health and safety plan often depends on the industry and the workplace itself.
For example, office workers might only experience risks such as eye strain and back injuries, while warehouse workers might be exposed to trips, slips, falls, and heavy machinery hazards as well. Develop a plan according to your specific work environment to ensure its effectiveness. Special health and safety training could be beneficial in all industries.
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3. Ensure PPE Is Always Used
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is one of the most important aspects of workplace health and safety that is often mandated by law in most countries around the world as well. While the PPE you will have to use might depend on your business and industry, the most common types of equipment include hard hats, goggles, ear muffs, face masks, work boots, etc.
According to your assessed workplace risks, select the right PPE types and provide them to your employees. This will aid in keeping your staff safe and protected from any risks they might be exposed to.
4. Invest In Suitable Workwear
Along with PPE, it would also be wise to consider other forms of safety equipment. Workwear is often the most important aspect – skin and limb protection tend to be overlooked, even though they are truly vital to maintaining health and safety. For example, you can purchase workwear shirts for your employees that are comfortable enough to be worn all day while still being high in quality and delivering ample protection.
Depending on the needs of your workplace, you might want to consider utility trousers, hi-vis gear, and other types of workwear as well.
5. Train Your Employees Well
As already mentioned, health and safety training is advantageous to all workplaces, as it provides workers with specific habits and procedures to follow in order to ensure their protection. However, you should aim to provide additional training opportunities in terms of carrying out specific roles as well.
For instance, you can teach employees how to operate new tools and machinery safely, make sure they’re using their current equipment correctly, or guide your staff with clear written instructions. This will help to minimize accidents and injuries in the workplace while also reducing your legal liability.
6. Inspect The Equipment Often
The machinery and tools that are used on a daily basis can present serious hazards. Risks don’t only arise when equipment isn’t handled correctly, but also when it’s faulty, outdated, or improperly maintained. For that reason, you should inspect all your equipment regularly, maintain and service it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, and ensure it’s in optimal working condition.
In case any problems are noticed, faulty gear should be fixed or replaced as soon as possible. This is a simple method for ensuring health and safety in the workplace that might come with some cost savings in the long term as well.
7. Consult Your Employees
Once all the necessary processes have been established, it’s also recommended to hold regular health and safety meetings with your employees. Here, you can discuss potential issues that might arise in the meantime, cover any problems that may have been overlooked, provide important updates, and gain some unique insights into vital procedures from your teams as well.
Make sure everyone can speak openly and honestly about health and safety in the workplace – this is the only way to address problems effectively and ensure a secure work environment for everyone involved.
Health and safety must be a vital aspect of business, not just an afterthought. Follow the advice above to maintain high standards in your organization, protect your employees, and protect yourself as a result.
By Lana Hawkins