If you’re a small business owner, you’ve probably been told that failing to have a solid health and safety program can result in devastating fines, lawsuits, and even personal injury. And while it’s true that a health and safety program can save your business from all of these negative consequences, it’s not enough to simply create one. It needs to be up-to-date, comprehensive, easily accessible by employees at all levels of your company — and actually used.
1. Keep your workplace safe and free of hazards If you have a coworker who is a hazard to your health and safety, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself, including
- try talking to them directly.
- get someone else to talk to them.
- get a group of coworkers together to talk to them.
- approach your boss or a manager.
In short, you should speak directly to the person who deploys your safety and health staff, with the explicit goal of getting them to be on top of your program day-to-day. But when you’re first trying to talk to these folks about health and safety, there may be awkward silences. So you should also ask them some common questions, like: Do you have a plan in place? Is there anything that we can do to help? (Let them know that’s important, too). So, what should your health and safety plan look like? Let’s take a look: What follows are 4 basic steps you can take to have a good health and safety program that actually works. Know What Your Business is All About First, know that a health and safety program only covers your company as a whole, and doesn’t cover individual employees either. It should be extremely clear for everyone on your team what is expected of them, what actions are necessary to carry out those expectations, and what consequences are potentially in store if they don’t get it done. That being said, there’s no point in creating a ridiculous, intimidating plan that even your boss won’t be able to know what to do. It’s better if you have a plan that’s clear, that everyone on your team knows, and that everyone can use. But you must adhere to a rigid government-approved definition of what employee safety looks like. It can be grossly inadequate, in terms of procedure or supplies, or padlocked shut off if something is deemed “dangerous.” Remember, just like the real world, what behavior you and your staff engage in in the confines of your business will be scrutinized by social distancing laws.
2. Get employees to practice good safety habits Every time you hire a new employee, you’re creating a new opportunity to help them learn good safety habits. Teach them by using your company’s safety manual, which should include things like specific safety protocols, how to properly use all of your equipment, and how to identify safety hazards. But it’s only when people know their safety is a priority that they actually stick to what it is. And with that in mind, below is a step-by-step guide to help you put together and properly record your health and safety program. It includes an overview of what exactly a health and safety program does, as well as guidelines for each department of your business to share. What is a health and safety program? A health and safety program is the overarching plan of your business, made up of everything that falls under a program component. Most commonly, this might consist of a safety plan, a health plan, or a medical plan. Whatever it ends up being, it should be up to you (and the individual team within the company) to continually reinforce and follow these specific, most important elements of your program. They are the basis on which real safety occurs for every employee — and the focus point of any action you take on an ongoing basis.
Health and safety programs report directly to an individual program manager or director, which is someone accountable for actually driving and implementing the program. This is sometimes known as an in-house safety team manager. What kind of information should I include in my health and safety program? One (key) element of a health and safety program is regularly training (and re-training) new employees. This can include things like Gear safety: Every person who works for your business should have a working helmet, a face shield, knee and elbow pads, a pool noodle, spare tire, first-aid kit, wrist and ankle support, belt (technical ground materials), and shoes that are acceptable to you.
3. Provide the right tools and equipment for employees to work safely. Workplace safety is a major concern these days and it’s important that you provide the right tools and equipment for your employees to work safely. Not only will it help to prevent injuries and improve productivity, but it will also help to prevent workplace accidents. If you’re looking for professional assistance designing an effective health and safety program, you can be assured that the following experts have great advice: Blake Cowan Cortek Safety Solutions [email protected] So what does this expert recommend that you include in your health and safety program? Let’s take a look:1adequate training, with appropriate supervision. Make sure your employees know the proper procedures and that there is at least one safety person on staff every day who is official in training. In addition to that, have a well-defined training program that’s led by someone who is aware of the current health and safety issues affecting your business. There are several online and offline methods to implement safety training over the course of several months. In addition, make sure that any person entering a work area has completed a training course to ensure they can react appropriately in situations like a chemical leak, a potential gas leak in a lab, or a box cutter accidentally striking someone.2monitor your equipment Regularly check on the health and safety of your equipment, including your machines, equipment accessories, air compressor, etc. It’s a good idea to create a list of equipment components and check them regularly.
4. Make sure that you’re doing all you can to prevent accidents from happening in the first place Accidents can be scary, but they don’t have to ruin your life. It’s important that you do all you can to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. By wearing a helmet when you ride a bike, you can greatly reduce the chances of a serious injury from happening. However, accidents do happen, even with highly trained employees — and even if you insist on maintaining your safety program at all costs. Let’s talk about how to increase your chance of still getting hurt without actually experiencing it. Top four ways to avoid injury while using a great safety program
1) Have policies in place at all company locations and throughout the company. This isn’t actually as difficult as it sounds. Almost every major company has policies in place that outline what will and will not be accepted in their property. Have these in place to the letter in case the unthinkable happens and something bad happens at a location. With an effective program in place, you can be confident that, should something tragic happen, you have the appropriate steps in place to at least cancel an event/event detail or issue an escalating penalty.
2) Have training available. This can seem like a no-brainer but adding training to a great safety program is arguably one of the best ideas you can implement. A well-trained employee can do everything to keep you safe and get you back out on the road safely and quickly, which can ultimately save your life. The key is to have the proper training available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many folks get injured every year when they leave work early because they don’t have the proper training. Employers can help make sure that doesn’t happen with their own policies by providing free training to all employees. Plus, employers who offer training often pay for any injuries that occur as a result of using the training.
3) Effectively communicate the program to all employees — and/or have an outside party approve it.
4) Follow the law, and make sure your workers do too While it’s tempting to cut corners and save money, you need to make sure your business is following all the laws and your workers know and follow all the rules and regulations.
Let’s take a look at some of the three most important elements that make up your robust health and safety program and how to put a plan in place for easy implementation… Use your Website Having a website is a must if your business has more than 20 employees, and it’s even more important if it’s an established company with a website, some safe practices pages, and/or videos demonstrating workplace safety. Having a website also gives you the opportunity to create an evergreen set of content, which your workforce will use to keep you safe and succeed. Plus, if you want to keep employees up to date on laws and frequently tested safety procedures, a skilled and organized website will help.
Here’s a list of just some of the majority of the websites you’ll need. While this list is incomplete, there are hundreds of websites and their corresponding landing pages that you may require if you’re aiming to offer comprehensive, up-to-date health and safety content. Conduct Employee Training Employees aren’t the only ones who can train themselves on workplace safety. Ideally, you want your entire workforce to be trained, including anyone who has a relative who works at your business. You need to look at each activity in the company and make sure you have a mentor in place to teach new workers how to complete the task. You can develop youtube videos or how-to explainer videos to the more complicated tasks and keep all workers up to date with changing legislation.