With 2018 upon us, it’s time to rethink and refresh your Health and Safety management strategy. Those of you who want to improve your standards, insure yourselves against the harsh penalties of not complying with the law and maintain your business reputation, keep reading… We have developed a five step survival guide which aims to help you identify the actions you may not have taken in order to eliminate (or reduce) the health and safety risks and nurture a positive workplace culture within your organisation.
1. TRAIN YOUR STAFF EFFECTIVELY
The quality and variety of training which you provide is key for developing a positive health and safety culture across your organisation. It’s usually the lack of informed and sufficient knowledge about the risks related to day-to-day work activities, which result in incidents and near misses. Making your staff aware of the possible dangers and teaching them how to follow agreed safe working practices will help mitigate existing hazards and potentially save lives.
Not sure where to start? Providing relevant and timely information, knowledgeable and experienced instruction, and investing in safety training courses, workshops and seminars is the most effective way to help your employees adopt safe and healthy working awareness. Yes, there is a financial investment to this, but it will also insure your business against the moral, legal and financial implications related to accidents and ill health. Moreover, it will improve productivity and long-term business performance.
2. LISTEN TO YOUR EMPLOYEES
While listening to your heart is what you do when making decisions about yourself, that’s not always the case when you are responsible for the well-being and safety of your workforce.
You might think that you know all of the risks that they face on a day-to-day basis. Well, you are at least 50% wrong.
In order to create an effective risk management strategy, you need to use relevant, sufficient and up-to-date information. Monitoring and carrying out risk assessments get half of the job done. The other half you gather by involving the people whose activities you are assessing and listening to their thoughts and feedback. In the end of the day, who else would know better the health and safety hazards of performing a certain job, than the person who is assigned to it?
3. DON'T COMPROMISE YOUR WORKFORCE MENTAL HEALTH
Time to brush up on your mental health skills! According to a recent survey conducted by the Chartered Management Institute long hours and the constant "always on" digital culture are having detrimental effect on the well-being of UK employees, including managers.
Employee stress is a problem for any company and that includes yours. Furthermore, taking care of your staff well-being is your legal responsibility as an ultimate duty-holder. Learning what to do to reduce stress and mitigate against the related negative consequences can save your business reputation, your staff health and boost morale. To learn some stress-reduction tips that actually work, have a look at our blog post about 5 ways to combat employee stress.
4. COLLECT AND DOCUMENT DATA FOR BETTER JUDGEMENTS
In order to improve your organisational health and safety standards, you need to adopt an accident and incident reporting strategy and have a plan of action with people assigned to it. Incidents, near misses and dangerous occurrences should always be documented and retained for five years. That’s not only a legal requirement, but also the backbone of your action plans and control measures which your workforce will be required to follow in order to reduce accident repetition.
Analysing your health and safety data will provide you with invaluable insights about your overall risk management performance and help you easily identify issues requiring attention. If you are struggling with time and resources, there are online systems and apps out there that can facilitate and automate your management and monitoring processes. S2B Online is a risk management platform with pre-populated health and safety templates library which can store your documentation and improve your overall administration process for as little as £21 per month. They also partner with iAuditor, an inspection checklists app, which sets up audit forms for you in minutes, creates detailed analytics for your organisational audits and issues automatic reports which you can send to the management board with a click of a button. So there you go- a health and safety management automation at its finest which won’t break the bank and will improve your workplace performance in the long-term!
5. TURN YOUR RISK MANAGEMENT PROCESS INTO A ROUTINE
With all of the above said, what stops you from improving your business health and safety?
It’s all about flipping the coin and starting to look at it as your business best friend, rather than a boring responsibility or even an enemy.
Without a doubt, the legal requirements related to workplace safety are here to stay and, just like your business, they are going to evolve and expand. In order to survive in a world where your every step is constantly monitored by the authorities, you need to turn your risk management process into a habit. Moreover, you have to make sure your workforce follows a well-structured and effective routine where everyone feels responsible and accountable for the tasks they are assigned to. With a little effort to begin with, your plan of action will be in place, and you will start reaping the rewards!
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