Health & Safety New Year’s Resolutions To Keep You And Your Workers Safe In 2022
As we move into the new year, many of us are also preparing to return to work after a well-deserved vacation or winter break. We love all of the new year’s energy and it’s a great time to revitalize our office and workspace environment as we focus on new goals for the year, and start preparing for new projects too.
So, while you’re busy with team meetings and focus groups, it’s also a great idea to revisit your companies health and safety policies, and to ensure that all of your workers understand the importance of risk assessments and safe work environments – and this extends to your teams working from home.
In a surprising twist, turns out that toddlers can be very hazardous to folks who are still working from home.
Let’s get busy.
1. Start by asking your teams to conduct WORKPLACE ASSESSMENTS
To rectify any potential problems, you first need to know if you have any. Ask your teams to conduct workplace health and safety assessments in accordance with your existing policies and procedures. (You do have them, right?). If you’re slow to start and don’t have official policies in place, you could be in very big trouble when the inspector does their rounds, or when something happens. It isn’t a question of ‘if’.
Once your teams have submitted their reports, revisit the locations with your health & safety officer or team.
Take an honest and sincere look at your operation and identify all the potential safety risks. Compare these results with the previous audits you’ve conducted and test for discrepancies, improvements, and failures – those are the ones you’re most interested in.
2. Formulate a realistic action list
Based on your findings, you’ll need to generate an action list – and in most states, this is a recordable list that must be produced on demand should you get audited or inspected, and you should also have the report available of what you’ve done or ordered in order to rectify these issues. Remember, you have to record all times, dates, and attendee lists of safety meetings and workshops.
3. Communication is king
You have to ask yourself if you have created the kind of environment where your workers feel as if their feedback and input are encouraged and will be taken seriously. What have you done with reports and have you rectified and addressed issues and concerns?
Open, honest, and robust communication is key at all times, and it starts – with you.
4. Thoroughly record ‘NEAR-MISS’ reports and address them immediately
A near miss is great news because what might have happened didn’t but, it is also the best ground for learning. However, if you have not taken the necessary action when a near-miss incident occurred, you’ve lost the opportunity to show your team that you take their welfare seriously, and that is a big problem.
5. Be real about your workspace
We all want to believe that our workspaces are the best, safest, and coolest around, but that may well not be the case. Conducting honest reviews of your workspaces is so important.
Ask yourself if you have really done all you can to protect your workers from injury or worse? Does your machinery have machine guard equipment, are your stairs adequately marked, your emergency exits, fire extinguisher locations, and eye wash stations if you need them?