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Workplace safety and health

Managing health and safety in the workplace

It is always the individuals at the top who set the tone for good workplace health and safety. No matter how big or small your company is, directors and board members have collective and individual responsibility for health and safety. For effective governance, employee morale, and business success, their responsibility for ensuring health and safety is critical.

Workplace health and safety rules hold those in control of the workplace responsible for health and safety as well as risk management. High health and safety standards will help your firm while also protecting it from negative press and employee unrest that would result from a serious accident or prosecution.

According to research, successfully managing health and safety at work is smart business practice. The following are only a few of the advantages of good health and safety practices:

  • increased productivity when following safe operating procedures.

  • reduced insurance premiums.

  • fewer absences due to illness.

  • better employee retention and morale.

  • reduced training costs for replacement employees.

What exactly is a risk?

In the workplace, a risk is defined as the likelihood of harm as a result of exposure to a hazard. A noisy work environment, unpleasant behavior from a coworker, a slip hazard, or malfunctioning electrical equipment are all instances of workplace risks.

As an employer, it is your responsibility to identify and manage workplace risks in order to ensure a safe working environment for all employees. Identifying dangers wherever work is done is the first step in preventing workplace accidents.

Next, undertake a detailed risk evaluation of your workplace’s possible trouble areas. This can include things like inadequately stored goods, defective electrical wiring or cables, leaking drainage pipes, slick floor areas, and employee behavior in general. Once you know what each type of risk is, you can figure out how bad it is and give it the resources it needs to be fixed.

What are risk assessments and how do they work?

Risk evaluations can be divided into two categories: The first is qualitative, in which the probability of risk is based on known facts about the conditions in question. The second form is quantitative, in which case risk likelihood is more subjective and depends on personal judgment supported by risk data.

Qualitative risk evaluations, on the whole, are more accurate and serve as reliable legal proof. However, if the team’s resources are restricted to personal judgment and generic risk data, you can still conduct a risk assessment and implement control measures to improve workplace safety.

Have a risk management strategy and procedure in your workplace, ideally in the company handbook, regardless of the approach you take. The process through which the organization will manage workplace health and safety should be clearly stated in this policy. It should also instruct employees on how to report workplace dangers and what to do if they are injured.

Workplace hazards: how to spot them

Whether you suspect a risk in the workplace or have been informed of one by an employee, you must address the issue as soon as possible to avoid the chance of injury. One of the most effective ways to identify a risk is to do a visual check of the area.

If the risk is tied to a work-related job, you may need an employee to explain or demonstrate what the risk is and why it needs to be managed in a safe and regulated manner. If the hazard is caused by electrical equipment, have a professional electrician come to the jobsite to analyze the situation and recommend whether the equipment should be fixed or replaced.

Consider the following elements when considering potential workplace dangers to determine the best course of action:

  • How serious is the risk?

  • What current control measures are in place? How effective are they?

  • What steps can you take to lower your risk?

  • How critical is it to address these specific risks?

Risk control measures: what are they and how do they work?

The nature of the problem will determine how you resolve a work-related risk. While it is not always possible to eliminate all dangers in the workplace, there are steps you can take to reduce the amount of time a person spends in a potentially hazardous environment. You can also lower the level of risk by altering how an employee executes a specific duty.

The following are some examples of risk management control measures:

  • Allowing employees to take longer rest intervals or reducing the length of each shift are two options.

  • Move a work process to a less busy location.

  • To lessen the danger of injury, alter the way a job process is carried out.

  • Provide additional onsite training and support to employees who are most at risk.

  • Provide appropriate signage to alert staff to potential hazards in the area.

  • Employees who are able to make safety a part of their daily work should be given bonuses or other rewards.

  • Set up a drill to improve reaction times in the event of an emergency.