One of the biggest attractions for productive and competent employees is a safe and secure work environment. The employees perform better when they’re mentally at peace about their safety. Be it a construction site worker or an employee who works in the office, they all like the feeling of security.
According to Safe Work Australia, 182 Australian workers sustained fatal injuries in 2020. Employers don’t often realize that the workplaces are filled with dangers. It is their responsibility to create and maintain the safety of their workers. If an accident happens, it won’t only cause the employee a significant loss or alter his life, but the company will have to pay a substantial compensation sum.
Setting up some safety procedures won’t entirely eliminate the risk of an accident. However, they can substantially limit the risk of potential occurrences and damage.
Here are a few essential steps to create and maintain a safe workplace.
Uncluttered And Tidy Workplace
It is crucial to keep the workplace tidy without any clutter lying around. Any spills or tools left out or built-up piles of paperwork can cause an unforeseen accident and injure an employee. This is the bare minimum in reducing the risk of harm to an employee.
It only takes a bit of personal responsibility to remove this threat from the equation. However, you cannot expect your employees to do something unless you practice it yourself. So the management must lead by example for their workforce to follow.
Assess the risk of something going wrong. These could be small or large factors adding up to bigger trouble. If you consistently note a problem in some area, you must work out a solution to remove the clutter and maintain tidiness.
One solution is to create a dedicated storage place for everything and install more recycling or disposal points.
Regular Equipment Maintenance
Many disabling injuries are caused by faulty equipment and machinery or the carelessness of employees while operating it. Considering that, one obvious step that every workplace might take is the inspection and maintenance of equipment. This can substantially lower the risk of an accident.
Whether it is often used or not, every piece of equipment in storage should be up for a safety check, especially if it is involves drilling. Moreover, as the boss or manager, it is your job to review the workplace and ensure safe operations.
How can you tackle a hazard without knowing how threatening it can be? This is why carrying out an analysis of the risk of danger is critical to eliminate it. Therefore, it would be best if you prepared a risk assessment.
This should help you determine the likelihood and seriousness of the effect of a hazard on your workers. Moreover, it also gets easier to figure out how exposure can harm the employees. Finally, use the resulting information to decide which threats are more hazardous and require urgent attention.
Put A Safety Plan In Action
Every workplace should develop a comprehensive safety plan which needs to be distributed among all employees. It should be accessible to every worker, visitor, and contractor. It should outline some apparent risk factors and detail how your staff should use equipment, how they should be trained, what instructions they need to follow to stay safe in the workplace etc.
Every workplace needs to put its own safety plan in action because the challenges are unique, involving distinctive risk factors in maintaining safety. You can develop a safety plan for your company with the help of an individual qualified with the Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety online course.
However, just creating a safety plan once and following it your entire life isn’t enough. The hazards keep evolving, so you need to update your safety plan according to that consistently.
Moreover, besides just having the safety measure to prevent an incident, the plan should also include procedures that need to be put in action in case an incident happens. Lastly, you need to ensure that every employee and visitor has access to a copy of the safety plan, and they should be given enough time to review it.
Training And Qualifications
Every employee who joins a workplace should be given proper training on the safety measures that need to be practised. Moreover, to prevent any incidents from happening, formal safety qualifications should be accessible to the employees.
The training shouldn’t be a one-time thing. Instead, it should be provided to employees at regular intervals to keep the knowledge fresh in their minds. And there should be a system of self-evaluation to help employees know when they need to refresh it.
You might face instances where you have to deal with contractors and other professionals who aren’t in your direct control. In such a situation, the workplace should use the contractor safety management systems offered by BNG Conserve. It is a great way to help keep a check on the documentation.
Despite taking hundreds of safety measures, there’s no way to eradicate a workplace from incidents completely. There would still be instances that would lead to an accident. However, the intelligent thing to do is take advantage of these incidents and start maintaining a record of them.
It will help you reach the causes of the incident, and eventually, you’ll know how you can prevent it from happening again. In addition, recognizing the risk factor will allow you to mitigate the possibility of getting into another such incident in the future.
A safety officer should be explicitly dedicated to monitoring the safety measures and maintaining a log that defines every incident, no matter how big or small. Moreover, he must work out ways to eliminate or mitigate the risk factors that lead to such incidents with the help of the employees and management.
Redesign The Process
If you’re facing a recurring problem in a particular process, you must identify the reason behind it. Once the issue has been identified, decide what measure you need to take to eliminate that issue. You should then redesign the process or adopt a different one to ensure that the problem doesn’t occur in the future.
Even if you can’t completely eliminate the hazard, you might mitigate its impact by choosing an alternate way to get the job done.
It is a fact that there’s no way to make a workplace entirely free of hazards. So, after taking all the measures to minimize the effect of a risk, you must ensure that you plan to overcome or control the situation if an incident happens.
You can’t wait for something to go wrong to develop a plan and handle the situation efficiently. Have regular inspections for any new hazard that might have occurred at the workplace because of installing new equipment or machinery. Based on that inspection, prepare and update your control measures.
Have An Insurance Policy
You might have taken all the safety measures, and all the control measures are in place too, but you need to have an insurance policy to make your employees feel safe. This is an essential facility that most employees look forward to before signing up for a job, especially on a construction site.
Insurance plans like the Workers’ Compensation or Return to Work programs provide workers with compensation if they get injured at work. It helps them to recover without the worry of the medical expenses they would have to pay. So, when the workers know their rights are protected, they can focus on work instead of constantly worrying about their safety.
Eradicate Potential Hazards
If you want to make your workplace safe for the employees, it must be free from any chemical or physical hazards. Besides this, you need to ensure that it is compliant with the standards and rules of OSHA.
Find ways to remind your employees about wearing all the safety gear, proper body mechanics, what PPE is necessary, safe backing, forklift safety, and all the ways to avoid slips, trips, and falls.
Identifying the hazards becomes more accessible when the workers also do their part in reporting potential issues. For example, if they spot a safety violation, they should immediately resolve the issue.
Every workplace needs to have a safety committee that ensures the implementation of the safety plan. It should be composed of certified safety professionals and workers, from the floor staff to senior management.
The committee should hold routine meetings at least once a month to ensure timely updates and convey necessary information about safety, inspections, and injury statistics to all the employees and management.
You can also hold company-wide safety meetings to retrieve employee feedback. Based on the input, you can update your safety plan to tackle potential issues in the future. This will also make the employees feel heard, hence boosting their confidence.
It is necessary to safeguard your employees from the risk of accident or injury because sometimes, even minor incidents can cause a lifelong disability. No amount of compensation can equal the loss of an employee, which is why you need to hire safety professionals.
An individual with Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety online qualifies for a work health and safety (WHS) role. He has the potential to provide you with extensive technical skills and knowledge for the safety of your employees. If you get this qualification, you will be capable of managing the risks at the workplace.
If you plan to apply for a WHS-related role, this certification will help you take a massive leap in the field.
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