Steps to Ensure a Proactive Approach to Safety in the Workplace
Four ways to ensure your business is a safe working environment
Workplace safety is an important issue that can often be taken for granted; it’s imperative to be proactive in this area because if appropriate precautions aren’t taken your organisation could be liable for an accident. Furthermore, UK HSE statistics indicate that over 25 million working days per year are lost due to workplace illness and injury. Having measures in place to reduce risk and increase wellbeing are worthwhile investment because they will lower the number of days lost due to workplace illness/injury, increasing your overall productivity.
So, here are some considerations to go above and beyond when it becomes to being responsible for health and safety at work:
It’s important to perform a risk assessment of your working environment; it helps you to identify any potential hazards and take steps to safeguard against them. Be sure to thoroughly consider health and safety concerns as there may be risks that have not necessarily occurred to you before. For instance safety issues regarding electrical equipment – there are over 1000 accidents per year involving electric shocks or burns, with roughly 30 of these resulting in fatality. A quarter of these accidents involved portable electrical appliances. Most working environments regularly use electrical appliances therefore it’s important they are routinely checked for safety. One easy way to do this is with PAT Testers (portable appliance testers), which clearly demonstrate whether a piece of electrical equipment is functioning safely.
Comply with Relevant Legislation
Laws surrounding health, safety and welfare within the workplace are often being updated or altered. It’s important to be in line with the latest regulations no matter how small the change may be; having a procedure in place to check if there are changes applicable to your organisation on a semi-regular basis is a business necessity.
Practice and Awareness of Safety Procedures
Having procedures and warnings in place is only useful if individuals are aware of them; if an emergency does arise it’s important those with responsibilities can competently perform them. Employee education and awareness are essential to health and safety protocols being followed and properly carried out. Going out on training courses or practicing emergency procedures can be very helpful in taking a pro-active approach to health and safety.
Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems
This is an over-arching system which allows you to consider and prepare all health and safety risks or issues that may arise in your workplace. There are certifications designed to help you establish such a system in a methodical way. The British Standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management (also known as OHSAS 18001) is the most well-known and respected certification of this kind.
What an OHSAS 18001 certification enables your organisation to do is assess any relevant hazards or health issues and establish protocols in response to minimise the likelihood of any incidents.
Becoming certified incorporates all the above and management system are consistently reviewed and updated, thus constantly improving your organisation’s approach to health and safety and ensuring you are up to date with any relevant legal regulations.