New Year's resolutions for 2017
New year, new you? This is a great time to start reviewing your health and safety processes. There are lots of ways to improve. Do you need a quicker way to prepare your risk assessments, keep on top of changes in legislation, or encourage all your workers to take responsibility for health and safety?
To get you started, here are our resolution suggestions for 2017; we hope you pick up some useful tips!
How was 2016?
Think about any incidents that occurred in 2016. Were they preventable? Have you taken action to make sure a similar incident won’t happen again? Do your staff know who is now accountable for this?
Once you’ve identified risks you still face, you’re in a good position to think of ways you can provide a safer workplace for your team.
Create a health and safety culture
Creating a health and safety culture doesn’t have to be a lot of work. It’s all about making sure you and your staff understand that health and safety is everyone’s job. The burden of responsibility for that doesn’t just fall on you - the boss! For a better working environment it must be taken seriously by everyone in the business. There are 3 simple steps to achieving this;
It may sound obvious but the first step to all staff feeling responsible for health and safety is to talk openly and consistently about the potential daily risks you all face. Plan regular team meetings to make sure health and safety is always on your agenda!
Teach, don't preach!
Regular training is key to improving health and safety awareness at work. Staff should be given specialist training for your industry when they join you, and ongoing training to keep up-to-date with best practice and legislation changes. This doesn’t have to be expensive in time or money. There are so many training options available, including e-Learning, which can be completed in-house on a computer, at a low cost.
Reward your staff
Rewarding your team for good practice - such as preventing accidents, reporting near misses etc. - shows that their attention to detail is appreciated and important to the company. Why not use a ‘suggestions box’ and reward the person with the best idea or create a quarterly Health and Safety champion to recognise and celebrate your teams’ efforts.
Keep up-to-date with legislation
Complying with legislation is key for companies of all sizes. It's easy to keep yourself up-to-date by signing up to specialist, online newsletters which are ideal for sharing with staff to keep the safety conversation going. And as they’re free, there’s no excuse!
Track your progress
Keeping a close eye on your health and safety performance means that you can look back and see how you have improved, take action if needed, or if the worst should happen, you will be ready to provide relevant information if legal action is taken against you.
We know that smaller companies sometimes struggle to prove they use health and safety practices, for example, that you provide safety information for your staff, check work equipment regularly, and provide personal protective equipment (PPE) etc.
Records don’t need to be complicated and we’re here to help with Safecontractor’s Guidance Notes which contain examples and templates. Making simple notes in a diary will show that processes are in place.
Maintain your health and safety folder
Filing your health and safety documents in one easy-to-reach folder will prevent you from losing important information and makes renewing your Safecontractor membership and accreditation much easier.
It’s a great idea to keep the following items together; risk assessments, method statements (where applicable) and records such as PPE Issue, work equipment inspection and PAT records. However, avoid holding on to documents which are not needed, as you could end up drowning in paperwork which makes the process longer and overcomplicated.
How can SafeContractor help?
Gaining the SafeContractor accreditation is a real achievement but the assessment process can also highlight areas for improvement. Our assessors are experts - remember to make note of their advice which will help you achieve best practice.
On behalf of everyone at SafeContractor, we wish you a safe and successful 2017!
Post date: 06 Jan 2017
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