Health and Safety in the workplace is a massive priority and if not managed correctly could lead to workplace accidents. The importance of managing this effectively is often underestimated not only reactively when there are accidents but also pro-actively to avoid them in the first place. Covid-19 has also had a direct impact on this where the focus on Health, Safety and Environment has increased significantly as it has been forced to. It is therefore important that this same focus remains once the Covid-19 levels have reduced, and more people are returned back to the workplace. Here are some of the suggestions on what more some businesses are doing to keep employees safe.
It is not only the responsibility of the leaders and managers to be responsible for safety, but it is everyone in the organisation. Ensuring a culture of compliance throughout all levels of the organisation could be tricky and it therefore needs the dedication and respect. Often, business owners will improve on this by putting several layers of the organisation through training. This can include things such as SA Training event courses or more specific health and safety training courses where people will be out of the office for 3 days being trained on this. There are also a lot of courses on shorter duration that would give people more of an “awareness”.
Completing safety risk assessments is something that is a must in order help prevent accidents. These assessments will look at a workplace environment and setting and look to score the potential hazards. This will then allow for action to be taken on actually mitigating these risks which could also include things such as wearing the appropriate Personal Protection Equipment. Sometimes organisations have paid these sorts of assessments lip service and not actually completed them correctly. This “tick in the box” approach will not actually reduce accidents and conversely, could put employees at risk.
It is important that everyone in the company has a voice when it comes to Health and Safety. It is not only for the management to give the tools and techniques to comply but for the lower level employees to raise concerns and improvements regularly. The empowerment at the lower levels will see some cultural improvements which should see a reduction in accidents. How this is embedded in an organisation can be tricky and will take the upper leadership to cast the shadow in terms of their attitude and approach to health and safety but work not only with the employees but potentially their Trade Union Representation. Culture improvements will also not happen overnight, and it takes many years to improve.
Protecting against accidents is something that has to be a top priority to any business and putting the time and effort into doing things such as risk assessments is something that needs to be completed thoroughly. Ensuring regular governance and time allocation to this is important to ensure it gets the attention deserved.