Safety management has been a vital part of workplaces for years. However, did you know a well-maintained health and safety strategy can boost productivity and protect your brand reputation? Not that we need more motivation to provide a safe workplace, health and how we manage it is uppermost in all our minds as we learn to live with Covid-19.
According to a 2019-20 survey, around 1.6 million people suffered from work-related health issues in the UK. Therefore, businesses should consider developing a full-proof health and safety strategy.
Along with the evident benefits, a strong health and safety strategy can protect the reputation of your business.
Importantly, implementing such a system isn’t a daunting task. With the right steps, you can create a fool-proof health and safety strategy for your workplace. This article will outline the basic steps that can help every responsible workplace.
Step 1: Build Up a Safety Plan
The first step towards developing a health and safety strategy for any employer should be an in-depth assessment.
You should develop a plan that aims at improving the health and safety of the employees. This plan should take into account the following factors:
- The nature of your business
- Potential hazards
- The number of employees
- Safety requirements
After proper assessment, talk with your employees. It is vital to take their suggestions into account when formulating a health and safety plan. This plan is crucial to safeguard your employees in case of emergencies. Overall, a business should be aware of potential hazards before consulting with experts.
Step 2: Talk to Expert Consultants
After developing your basic safety plan, it’s time to get recommendations from health and safety experts. Companies or professionals equipped with HSE (Health, Safety, and Environment) training can prove vital in helping your business do the following:
- Monitor your workplace
- Modify your safety plan
- Develop safety strategies
- Cover the health needs of all employees
Developing the right strategy and plan is the roadmap for customers confidence in your brand and staff feeling safe at work for you. Large organisations usually reach out to consultants, whereas smaller businesses tend to try the do-it-yourself approach due to cost constraints. However, allocating a budget for advice on health and safety is no longer nice to have as Covid-19 has taught us proper workplace hygiene is paramount for keeping staff well.
Organisations that excel in HSE management can expect workers to be less distracted and more productive in the workplace.
Step 3: Establish a Clear Safety Vision and Mission
With the help of an HSE management agency, your business can form a safety planning committee. The goal for your health, safety and environment group is to define the vision and a mission statement that resonates with your clients, staff, suppliers, partners and advocates. Remember the vision and mission statement can work to support and protect your brand reputation. A good example of a vision for safety is zero accidents where the philosophy is that all accidents are avoidable.
Some industries have already got their statements in the public domain – when your business has theirs, make sure it’s accessible via your website home page.
Step 4: Delineate Safety Policies
It’s time to establish policies that govern workplace safety habits. These policies should help you achieve your health and safety mission. Professional health management companies can assist you in this task. However, small businesses can often lack such resources.
In the case of small businesses, hiring an expert who has experience in creating such outlines can prove beneficial. However, it’s crucial to consult your staff before outlining such rules and regulations. After proper consultation, you can move ahead in formulating your policies. Ensure the processes are practical and straightforward to follow. Moreover, you should aim to bring a high level of clarity to such health and safety policies.
Step 5: Staff Training
Employees, vendors, contractors, and miscellaneous staff should have a clear idea of your health and safety policies.
Make sure your onboarding and refresher course include training on:
- Managing hazards
- Safety practices and policies
- Handling work equipment
- Hygiene rules
Importantly, these training sessions should be interactive. If you have the budget, you can recruit a health and safety training agency for this purpose.
Most importantly, you should train your staff to maintain a safe culture in the workplace. Proper implementation of health and safety systems is a crucial part of training new hires. So, open and friendly interaction with employees about health and safety is paramount to this strategy.
Step 6: Monitor and Control
You can recruit an HSE manager or existing staff member to monitor your health strategy. Moreover, you should pay attention to:
- Inspection reports
- Hygiene levels
- Health issues
Closely monitoring these activities or factors will support continuous improvement of your workplace safety. Consequently, you can control health and safety activities even on a tight budget. This final step will allow you to make modifications and improvements to your existing health and safety strategy. Plus, make sure as many staff as required have basic first aid training.
Developing a health and safety strategy isn’t resource-heavy. You can plan an efficient health management system with a systematic approach. Medium and large-scale businesses can outsource their strategic planning to specialised companies, while smaller organisations are probably best off forming an internal planning committee.
Your main goal should be to safeguard the health, hygiene, and enthusiasm of your employees. A strong health and safety strategy will create a happy, healthy, and productive business environment! Here is another article on hygiene in the workplace.