Health and safety at work: quick wins can make big differences

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Improving working Health and Safety practices can require a detailed, analytical and often highly structured approach. It’s often easy to forget that simple, quick improvements can make all the difference. Here are 5 quick Health and Safety wins you can apply to your business immediately.

As Senior HSCE Consultant, Peter Thorpe is responsible for delivering of EEF’s Health, Safety, Climate and Environment (HSCE) services. He ensures not only that client’s business needs and examination requirements are met but reduces risks and provides security of professional advice and support. With a background in the manufacturing sector, Peter has over fifteen years’ experience in health, safety and environmental management following roles in HR and training. Peter’s experience includes the implementation and auditing of HSE management systems over a range of business sectors, legal compliance auditing, noise assessment and machinery safety. More recently, Peter has worked with a number of organisations both in the UK and internationally to analyse and address cultural and behavioural issues.

Whatever the business, industry or sector, we all want to make our workplaces safe and accident free.  Creating a safe, healthy environment for staff isn’t always about implementing complex processes, policies and procedures.  Some simple changes can be implemented quickly and have a dramatic impact on improving Health & Safety in the workplace.  Here are five quick wins which you could consider.

Ensure everyone knows their role.

Health and Safety at work is not the responsibility of a single person.  The safest workplaces are those where everyone in the organisation is involved.  Providing employees at all levels with a greater understanding of their responsibilities and accountabilities can result in a higher degree of Health and Safety focus, leading to fewer accidents.

Keep your eyes open.

Prevention is always better than cure.  If you and everyone else in the business knows how to identify risks and what to look for, then changes can be made more quickly.  A better understanding and appreciation of hazards and risks in the workplace can help employees work more safely.

Get on top of reporting

Knowing what’s going on within your organisation gives you more control and a greater chance to make improvements.  A positive approach to accident and near miss reporting and investigation can have the immediate effect of raising Health and Safety awareness within the organisation but also contribute significantly to the prevention of further incidents.

Get people engaged

Health and Safety is about people so the more engaged your people are in the Health and Safety process, the better.  There is evidence which shows that greater employee involvement has a dramatic impact on H&S performance. Effective training is a key tool in encouraging this involvement.

Improved compliance

Effective training, coupled with proactive monitoring of performance can lead to greater levels of compliance with company procedures.   Knowing which areas of compliance and legislation you need to be aware of and how things should be implemented is essential.  EEF Training offers a range of Health and Safety courses, designed for managers and team members alike. 

The IOSH Managing Safely training course is specifically developed to give Managers and Supervisors a clear understanding of their responsibilities and how they can contribute to providing a safer and healthier workplace

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