Keeping everyone safe - 5 tips for preventing injury or illness at work
13 Aug 2020

Keeping everyone safe - 5 tips for preventing injury or illness at work

Taking care of your employees is the most important job a business owner has.

In 2018/19 147 people in Great Britain lost their lives to workplace accidents. Nobody expects to get injured at work, and employers are legally and morally obliged to do whatever they to protect their workforce.

But health and safety has a reputation for being a hindrance, time-consuming and sometimes irrelevant. It needn’t be that way. Modern health and safety systems should be slick, open and effective.

Here is some simple advice for systems which will help prevent injury or illness to your employees.

Working safer

Operating procedures are vital, particularly when it comes to hazardous tasks. Identifying risks, highlighting correct techniques and procedures, and documenting these will ensure each task is completed in the same, safe manner. Having documented, safe systems of work avoids employees rushing or taking short cuts, which can lead to mistakes and accidents.

Detailed documentation

When all employees have access to risk assessments, operating procedures, training information, PPE and COSHH requirements, workers are much more likely to behave in a well-guided, safer manner. Documentation should be easily available to all staff, regardless of location or discipline.

Furthermore, an effective online documentation system will provide a live record of employee training and highlight upcoming training and refresher course requirements.

Keeping up the training

As humans, we can become complacent, and can also forget important aspects of our jobs. Formal, ongoing training is important no matter the discipline, but in a hazardous environment regular training updates are vital. Filing cabinets overflowing with years’ worth of training certificate and manual records become less effective as a company grows. Up-to-date software will automatically highlight training requirements for large numbers of employees, removing the need for human resource and dramatically reducing the risk of error. 

Avoid surprises with internal auditing

Avoid the panic of an on the spot HSE investigation or the last-minute running around after a three-day warning of a HSE official visit by conducting regular internal audits. The perfect way to test the effectiveness of your HSE procedures and identify any opportunities to improve, audits are a fast, cost-effective way to give you peace of mind that your HSE systems are fit for purpose.

Keeping staff engaged

Health and safety is for everyone.

The recent pandemic has proven that looking after the health and safety of everyone around us is the most effective way to keep us all safe. By employing easy to use, simple systems, workers are more likely to engage with your health and safety procedures and understand their importance. We have moved on from a few posters in the kitchen, and today’s modern workplace has regular health and safety communications, with simple to access and navigate online portals.

Working in a safer manner, keeping records of procedures and risks, regular training, ongoing assessment and ensuring staff buy into health and safety will all contribute to a healthier and safer environment for you and your very important employees.