Friday, March 25, 2016
Health and safety at work has taken on more importance over the years with the introduction of more and more legislation that has to be complied with. For many businesses large or small, health and safety in its own right takes time and resources to implement properly.
Here are five ways to effectively make improvements in the workplace.
Effective signage is very important in the workplace, and is often a legal requirement - for example, potential hazards have to be identified with proper health and safety signs available from specialist sign suppliers.
There are certain colours used to identify the type of sign:
Yellow - warning against hazards so they can be avoided, such as “danger high voltage”
Red - prohibition signs to prevent certain actions, such as “no entry”
Blue - mandatory signs informing that certain procedures should be adopted, such as “use crawling boards”
Green - pointing to areas of safety such as exit routes or locations of first aid kits A health and safety audit will determine what signs you should use and whereabouts to site them. For example, if there’s a low ceiling in a given area a warning sign might be considered important to warn those using the area. It is never a good idea to guess what might be needed, so hire a firm such as Cube Safety Supplies to audit and provide your signs.
2. All Weather Access
Effective and safe access, especially outdoors, is important to avoid slippages and deterioration of ground caused by, for example, repeatedly traversing wet grass.
Nowadays there are a variety of temporary surfaces available to protect vulnerable surfaces and make for efficient access. For example, outdoor events with heavy foot traffic often have heavy duty matting to create walkways protecting the ground underneath.
Construction sites may use them to enable heavy vehicles to effectively access the site without churning up the looser unmade surface underneath. Temporary pathways, such as those provided by All Weather Access, are also important, not only to protect the ground but also to keep feet clean so that slippery mud is not carried onto ladder, scaffolding and other construction areas. Creating temporary floors, such as a kitchen floor within a marquee, can be achieved with certain types of temporary matting and surfacing.
3. Investigate incidents
If an incident does occur, even if there’s no or very little injury, it’s important to investigate to discover why the incident happened and what steps can be taken - or improved upon - to prevent it happening in the future. Make a proper record of the incident, why it occurred, and what steps are in place to prevent a recurrence.
4. Inspect the workplace
It’s important to regularly inspect and review safety procedures and ensure those implemented are still being adhered to. It guards against complacency and standards possibly slipping over time. For example, in a bid to work quickly, perhaps crates or boxes aren’t being stacked as safety as they should be?
Check equipment and tools to ensure they’re still working as they should and are in good condition.
Keeping abreast of the latest health and safety developments is important, and professional training is a key element in achieving this. Being able to undertake risk assessments and produce an effective action plan is a core activity of anyone involved in the health and safety activities of a company or organisation.
There are specialist health and safety training companies who can train personnel with little or no knowledge of health and safety procedures along with those who specialise in it wishing to update their knowledge.
Courses, such as those run by Zero Harm Training, to prepare health and safety personnel for the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) test can be undertaken if required.
Overall Health and Safety Culture
Health and safety should be an ongoing part of business activities and staff should be encouraged to make it a part of their day-to- day work activities. Promoting a culture of safety at work makes it much easier to adhere to changing health and safety demands.
Jill Henderson is a representative for Health and Safety Signs who specialise in supplying health and safety signs for businesses.