The New Year is with us already, 2016 is up and running and it's a good time to reflect on the success of your safety program during the past year. Was safety a top priority for everyone in your organisation? Did you manage to meet objectives, or do you perhaps need to undertake some new initiatives this year. Here are a few tips to get you started;
Focus on Hazards.
One initiative that you might consider is to turn the spotlight on workplace hazards. For example:
• Take a second look at the layout and condition of work areas.
• Examine tools and equipment to make sure they are safe for employees to use (and review maintenance schedules to make sure they stay that way).
• Observe the way employees work (you might be surprised at how many unsafe behaviours you observe).
• Check to make sure that appropriate personal protective equipment (in good condition) is readily available to all workers.
• Identify potential fire, chemical, electrical, and other hazards throughout your facility and take action to eliminate these risks.
Encourage Employee Participation.
If employees at all levels in the organisation are actively involved in promoting workplace safety, your safety initiatives for 2016 are much more likely to achieve objectives and improve overall safety.
• Encourage employees to make suggestions about how to improve workplace safety (and then be sure to give their suggestions serious consideration!).
• Involve employees in problem solving when challenging safety and health issues arise.
• Rely on safety committees composed of employees from all levels and functions to identify hazards, investigate accidents, and promote safe work habits among your workforce.
Employee training is probably the most important aspect of any successful safety program.
• Check H.S.E standards for training requirements, many Regulations have very specific requirements for training and levels of competence.
• Make sure training sessions are interactive and provide plenty of opportunities for questions and discussion.
• Take advantage of available technology to enhance and expand training options.
• Provide lots of demonstrations and hands-on experience during training sessions.
• Don't forget to provide training for supervisors and managers, too (especially when new regulations, policies, equipment, processes, etc., are introduced).
Recognise and Reward Safe Behaviour
Never forget to show your gratitude for the efforts employees, supervisors, and managers are making to create a safer workplace.
• Use recognition and reward programs to reinforce safe behaviour and positive safety attitudes.
• Talk up safety at every opportunity.
• Let employees know that their safety is your top priority this year, and ask them to join you in making it their top priority as well.
Your health and safety initiatives may well be built on a clear understanding on your hazards and risks, you’ve engaged your workforce, identified necessary competences and valued the need to recognise and reward safe behaviour but have you got the resources to carry your initiatives through?
Points to consider;
• Competence – Health and safety is a very broad subject with many specific specialisms, few organisations can claim to have experts for all.
• Availability – New initiatives mean more work at a time when everyone is already very busy with the day job
• Commitment – To be effective your resources will need to be fully committed to your health and safety objectives.
• Organisation – Precious resources can be easily lost without appropriate organisation, reliance on “ its just common sense” won’t do.
If all, or some, of the above are unanswered questions or concerns for your organisation then you’ve achieved a key health and safety objective of knowing where your limitations are.
How We Can Help
|Pernix Safety Management - Director – Alan Hurst C.M.I.O.S.H
Registered Office – Peterborough, Cambs, PE3 6FB
Contact 01733 331300 / 07597 793 626 firstname.lastname@example.org