Workplace health and safety is very important. Employers play a crucial role in safeguarding the health and well-being of their employees and in doing so they can reduce absence and enhance safety standards.
Workplace injuries cost businesses a significant amount of money and companies cannot afford the loss of productivity and earnings associated with accidents and illness, so it is crucial that employers actively create and maintain a health and safety culture. There are lots of ways that you can increase awareness including:
The first step in improving health and safety awareness is to undertake an inspection or risk assessment to identify the hazards and explore who may be harmed and how. Employees should be involved every step of the way to ensure that you consider all risks but also so that employees know what is expected of them.
Notify staff where the first aid kit is and accident book and ensure that everyone knows the emergency procedures in the event of a fire or evacuation. Even small steps such as these will contribute to a better and safer work environment and will ultimately reduce absence due to workplace injury.
One of the most important aspects of increasing awareness is the delivery of training. Health and safety training should be delivered in every workplace, whether employees work on a production line or in an office because there are different risks associated with these jobs.
One of the most convenient methods of training is to deliver health and safety e-learning packages that employees can study wherever and whenever they choose during work hours.
With e-learning training can be specifically tailored towards the risks that present themselves in certain occupations and you can actively engage employees through scenarios, interactivity and quizzes to test their knowledge.
It is always beneficial to ask employees for feedback at the end of their training session, so you can constantly refine and improve the standard of training delivered to employees. With e-learning employees are often more engaged than classroom learning and this method of study has also been shown to boost knowledge retention.
E-learning can also include training such as carrying out risk assessments, walking employees through the process step by step so they can actually complete a risk assessment as part of their learning. Through your dedicated training programmes, you can emphasise the importance to employees of keeping up to date and accurate records via an incident management system software.
There are many factors that influence how you engage with your workforce, but it is so important to take the time to do so. Find a way to regularly consult your employees and encourage them to share their views on working practices and how they could enhance health and safety.
Employers should be willing to listen to employees and take on board suggestions, even when things don’t work out. Ultimately it is employees who know their working practices inside and out and these are the best people to understand and recognise the risks.
Good record keeping is important for health and safety. Through your dedicated training programmes, you can emphasise the importance to employees of keeping up to date and accurate records. Inspections should be carried out and documented on a regular basis so too should training needs and incidents if they arise.
Regularly reviewing health and safety records will allow you to identify any patterns or problematic areas so you can make changes where needed to improve safety standards.
Raising health and safety awareness can be achieved in many ways, from delivering high quality training experiences that are tailored to specific departments or employees through to holding regular health and safety meetings to discuss concerns and remind employees of their obligations as they carry out their day to day activities.