Management of health and safety in the workplace falls to the employer. Establishing an adequate system is vital to ensure that accidents in the workplace are kept to a minimum and workers are kept safe.
Putting in place a management system to address workplace health and safety is a good idea but needs to rely on several things, including:
- Having employers who are committed to the system and ensuring it is implemented.
- Keeping employees up to date with the system to make sure it is being followed correctly.
- Having a system in place that can identify any potential hazards so steps can be taken to avoid them.
- Full training for employees for all of the tasks they are expected to undertake.
- A level of respect surrounding health and safety with all members of staff.
- Continual improvement of health and safety procedures to further protect workers.
Commitment to the system goes further than simply telling employees that it is in place. Employers should ensure a full health and safety plan is in place that can be integrated into the working day.
Written policies and procedures can be useful, so employees can refer back to these at a later date. If any concerns are raised in relation to health and safety by workers, employers should act quickly on these.
It is also important that workers and the people who actually undertake any jobs are actually involved in the decision-making surrounding the health and safety procedures. They will be able to identify any problems first hand and keep their employers informed of what is going on.
Employees should also be encouraged to undertake regular inspections and assessments and feedback on these to employers so that potential hazards are identified and dealt with before an accident happens.
Accident reports and records should also be considered throughout the year to look at any common factors or issues that need to be addressed (such as particular injuries, time of accidents, location and the equipment used). This will help to improve the safety in a particular area and reduce accidents and injuries.
Training employees is vitally important to reduce workplace accidents. General health and safety guidance should be given to staff, including any regulations and systems in place and emergency procedures.
Making sure employees receive further training specific to the job they are doing is also important. Employees should always be trained in using machinery and equipment, especially those that could cause serious injuries such as heavy duty industrial machinery, forklift trucks and ladders and scaffolding. Employers should also have a system of retraining and updates.
Continually reviewing health and safety procedures and systems and improving safety should also be integrated into the work ethic and should not stay static once implemented. Health and safety at work is a continual curve that should never be ignored and the safety of workers should always be paramount. Looking at both the strengths and weaknesses of the system can help you to identify where improvements are needed.
Encouraging your employees to support health and safety at work and to actively improve their own safety and their colleagues will also establish safer working environments. Good communication is essential to ensure all members of staff know what the procedures are and how to keep each other safe from accidents at work.
Sadly, despite health and safety systems and procedures being put in place in workplaces, accidents at work still can and do, happen.
If you have been injured in an accident at work and would like advice on making a claim, call one of our expert solicitors today on 0800 612 7340. All enquiries are completely free with no obligation, and all our accident at work claims are taken on a no win no fee basis, so there’s no financial risk to you.