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Whether you’re an employer or employee, you must actively engage in promoting health and safety at work. Sickness and work-related incidents are something you may not totally avoid, but you can reduce and prevent work hazards through proper safety measures.

Safety in the workplace is important considering that there are many work-related injuries and deaths. For the years 2016 and 2017, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports “1.3 million working people suffering from a work-related illness” and “31.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury” in Great Britain. Those businesses could have prevented those illnesses and deaths if only proper health and safety measures were already an established habit at work.

It is the primary responsibility of a business owner to ensure workplace safety for all employees. And one of the proven ways to do this is through health and safety programs.

As the owner of a business, safety all starts with you. Provide clear guidelines and standards for your company by developing and implement.

Here are some health and safety tips to follow to ensure the well-being of the people in your company.

Employer Tips

1. Create a safety plan

  • First, identify all possible workplace hazards.
  • Take precautionary measures to prevent, end or minimize them.
  • Once the safety plan is finalized, inform your employees of the procedures and the participation you need from them.
  • Make sure that your employees understand safety procedures.
  • As an employer, practicing what you preach will give you the complete support of your workers.

When your workers see how you enforce safety rules and regulations and abide by them 100 percent, they will take the cue from you and learn to follow your lead.

2. Regularly inspect your workplace

Every day, you have to check all the tools and equipment to ensure they are safe and well-maintained.

  • Review storage areas for boxes which are not stacked properly as this may cause injuries.
  • Have a first aid kit prominently placed in an accessible location.
  • Provide periodic maintenance on all machines and equipment.

Well-maintained tools, machines and equipment are all part of a recipe for your business success. Without regular maintenance, these machines may crash and decrease efficiency and production.Power tool

  • Carry out a regular full inspection with the help of a registered health and safety officer.

An officer is aware and capable of identifying potential hazards in your workplace. Don’t attempt to perform the inspection all by yourself as you might miss a crucial aspect in the workplace. Such an oversight may lead to employee injuries in the future.

 

Once the health and safety officer identifies the hazards, begin taking appropriate steps to correct them.

3. Train your employees

The benefits of health and safety training include helping you prevent injuries and increase safety in your workplace. No matter how skilled your employees are, they should still undergo training in all facets related to their job.

  • Choose a fully accredited, high-quality training provider.

Proper training is essential for all workers especially when there’s a risk for injury related to their post. Not providing the correct training will not only endanger the safety of your employees but also make you liable for the incident which could lead to serious consequences for your business.

  • Provide work manuals or copies of safe work procedures so that your employees can easily check whenever they become unsure about a task or forget a part of the safety training.
  • Always supervise employees to ensure they are applying what they’ve learned from training to perform their job safely and properly.

4. Communicate regularly with your employees

Health and safety issues should be regularly discussed with your staff.

  • Allow your workers to share ideas on how to improve safety in the workplace.
  • Provide first aid training for your employees so that all employees can prepare and handle emergency situations.
  • Right after every training, hold regular meetings with employees to give them an opportunity to voice out their opinions and raise concerns or problems.

5. Investigate incidents

When an unfortunate incident happens, you must conduct an investigation to determine its cause.

  • Learn from the investigation and make it a basis for applying preventive measures in the future.
  • Keep records of all inspections, first aid treatments, training activities and incident investigations.
  • Identify any trends in work-related injuries or incidents for you to have a guide in taking appropriate actions.

Employee Tips

1. Identify hazards

When employees are not aware of the hazards, they won’t be able to prevent or avoid them. You, as an employee, should know and understand the hazards present in your workplace and perform the following:

  • Be mindful of the task at hand and what could go wrong that may cause accidents or injuries.
  • Inspect your workstation at the beginning of every shift.
  • Inspect your tools, equipment and materials before using them.
  • Have a safety attitude and do your best to stay healthy.

2. Be aware

Before starting in your job, you should already be aware of the following:

  • Equipment, tools and materials you will be handling.
  • Tasks you will perform.
  • The location of your workplace and persons you will be working with.
  • Safety procedures and rules in your workplace.
  • What to do in case of an emergency.

3. Always be alert

Employees should always pay close attention to their work and environment for their safety. You should practice the following in the workplace:

  • Give your full attention towards the task at hand.
  • Stay away from distractions
  • Don’t become complacent about safety and avoid taking shortcuts.
  • Pay attention to workmates and the conditions around them which may cause or create potential hazards.

4. Ask questions

Employees shouldn’t hesitate to ask their supervisor whenever the following instances are applicable:

  • They’re unsure of what to do and don’t understand the safety rules and procedures.
  • Unsure of what is considered a workplace hazard.
  • Don’t know how to deal with a new procedure, substance, or piece of equipment at work.
  • Something seems wrong and is interfering with the workflow.

5. Take a “near miss” seriously

Near misses should serve as a warning that there is a need to correct and reform something in the company. There are many cases where a near miss becomes another accident in the form of an injured staff member or worse, an employee casualty.

When a near miss happens, an employee should:

  • Treat the incident as an eye-opener and not simply ignore it.
  • Immediately report every near miss to the supervisor.
  • Cooperate whenever needed in the incident investigation to efficiently determine the cause and correct the problem to prevent further accidents.

Preventing workplace accidents and improving safety performance is a challenge, but it becomes easier when employees and their employer work together. Both employers and employees should help improve safety performance and to promote a zero accident policy.

Safety shouldn’t be just an afterthought. Make safety an integral part of your business. Your objectives for health and safety training, should be to help secure your workplace and work processes. You’ll not just put in place the best safety practices in your workplace but also build a noteworthy business entity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About

Dave Newgass is the owner and Managing Director of Wise Global Training Ltd. Born and raised in a small California coastal fishing town but now living in the United Kingdom, Dave's goal is to ensure that clients are not only happy with the IOSH and NEBOSH online courses they purchase from Wise Global Training Ltd. but are also happy with the total experience as a whole.

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