The health and safety of your employees is a number one priority, but you must ensure that they also take responsibility for their own safety and that of their fellow co-workers.
Accidents and injuries at work can have devastating consequences – seriously altering the lives and well-being of those involved, whilst also having an adverse effect on your company’s status and reputation.
You must therefore ask yourself several key questions:
- Are all your employees fully aware of your company’s health and safety policy and procedures?
- Is equipment and machinery always being used safely?
- Do your employees ever put themselves and others at risk?
- Are warning signs in place and hazards clearly marked?
- Are individuals wearing and using protective clothing and equipment for all hazardous tasks?
- Does everyone know what to do in the event of an accident or emergency?
Talking to your employees on a regular basis about health and safety at work is vital and can help you to identify solutions to problems and develop a positive health and safety culture in your workplace.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), workplaces where employees are involved in taking decisions about health and safety are safer and healthier. By involving and co-operating with your employees, you will ensure that they take health and safety as seriously as you - and ultimately accidents and ill-health will be reduced.
This will also help you to:
- Comply with legal requirements
- Improve overall efficiency, quality and productivity
- Manage and control workplace risks
- Achieve a more positive health and safety climate
How can you improve health and safety compliance in your workplace?
The aim is to involve and empower employees so that they take health and safety extremely seriously. A positive health and safety climate can be achieved through ongoing discussions, training and mentoring. The goal is to encourage employees to take control of managing risks and safeguarding their well-being and that of their colleagues.
You should therefore:
- Provide regular training to ensure that employees are aware of the latest health and safety regulations, procedures and requirements
- Conduct a risk assessment to identify potential hazards
- Provide all the equipment needed to improve health and safety in the workplace – including manuals; warning signs; protective clothing and equipment
- Listen to employees so that you can improve health and safety at work
- Inspect and maintain equipment regularly so that it is safe to operate
- Check that employees know the risks involved and that they are following health and safety procedures stringently
- Make sure that all accidents, injuries and incidents are reported
A greater awareness of workplace risks by your employees will ultimately lead to a more positive operational atmosphere and a healthier, safer workplace. Furthermore, the HSE suggests that accident rates are lower where employees genuinely feel they have a say in health and safety matters.