As an employer, it should be one of your highest priorities to set and maintain high standards of safety at your workplace. Not only could you face serious penalties for creating an unsafe environment but you also have a fundamental responsibility to your staff to reduce the risk of harm, so it’s important to keep thinking about ways to improve.
Here are a few key ways to put health and safety first.
Appoint a designated health-and-safety officer
You should have a member of staff who is clearly responsible for taking the lead on health-and-safety issues, coordinating risk assessments and training while being the first point of contact for questions from other employees. Placing one person’s focus on the task makes it much more likely that you’ll do everything that needs to be done.
You can also use digital displays to show health and safety advice or protocols, it’s a clear way for your employees to be informed and to keep up to date with new measures – including Covid-19 advice.
Conduct a risk assessment
This is an important process in which potential hazards in the workplace are catalogued, along with actions that can be taken to address them. For example, if there is a risk of slipping by a sink or tripping near machinery, you could decide to use anti-slip floor paint to mitigate that risk – or perhaps you work with tools that have the potential to cause injury, in which case you might need to provide protective equipment (PPE) like gloves or safety goggles.
Introduce a health-and-safety policy
Publishing a clear and easily accessible health-and-safety policy not only makes it easy for best practices to be followed, thereby improving safety standards, but it also builds trust with employees who see proof that they are being put first.
Keep the workplace clean
It’s easy to overlook, but clutter can be a big contributor to risk. From tripping hazards in messy walkways to flammable materials being left lying around, an untidy work environment is to be avoided – encourage your staff to keep things as pristine as possible.
Anyone likely to face the hazards documented on your risk assessment should be fully aware of those hazards and what to do to mitigate risk. After all, there’s no point putting procedures in place if staff haven’t been taught how to follow them.
Use signs and labels
Even for those who know in their heads what risks exist and where clear and visible signage is a valuable visual reminder. It’s cheap and easy to put this in place in locations where care should be taken.
Inspect equipment regularly
A malfunction in your equipment, whether that be a failure of complex machinery or simply wear and tear on PPE, could present unexpected dangers. Make sure that your employees are using clean and fully functional equipment by scheduling regular check-ups to screen for possible issues.
It’s never truly possible to completely eliminate risk at the workplace but, with these key actions taken, you’ll have done a great deal of good to keep safe your employees.
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