Safety standards in the workplace: Is your business up to scratch?

Posted: 21st September 2015 16:01

We can all be guilty of complacency in life but it is important to try to guard against this in the workplace. That’s particularly important because complacent workers who cut corners or fail to act with rigour can leave themselves at risk of injury.
An unsafe business is likely to be inefficient and will struggle to attract and keep the best staff. Put simply, if you’re not safe you won’t succeed. Safety is the bedrock on which your entire business is based and any tendency toward complacency could undermine that.
So how do you know your business is up to scratch?
It’s easy to scoff at the issue of safety and some employees do. It’s important for a business to establish a healthy attitude to this topic. It needs to be something that is taken seriously and handled with the same level of determination as the rest of the functions of the firm. No-one should feel that they cannot report potential hazards – however small – and everyone needs a clear and open channel of communication to ensure dangers are identified and tackled. If this isn’t a true description of your business then it’s time to act.
It’s vital to harness the best specialist equipment if you’re to stay safe – and it’s important to ensure you are up-to-date with the latest practices and developments to make sure the equipment you use is the best choice. Paint spraying, for example, once had the potential to be a hazardous pursuit but most operations now use professionally installed facilities like paint spray booths to ensure they meet the requirements of COSHH regulations.
You’ll need to use the right equipment to stay safe in the workplace and will need to make sure your staff are trained to handle that properly. If you’re unsure about the equipment you rely on, conduct an audit and identify any areas of concern.
In and out of the office
It’s all well and good having a safe office but if your operation involves travelling then you cannot afford to ignore the safety of those who get behind the wheel on your behalf. This means making sure your fleet is regularly serviced and that vehicles are kept in a good condition. Ignoring this can prove costly.
Working practices
Hazards in the workplace don’t just involve physical dangers for employees, such as cables that could be tripped over or chemicals that need to be handled with care. If your workers undertake long shifts or your business is understaffed then you might be asking too much of your employees and their welfare could become an issue. Try to help your staff avoid stress or tiredness for their own sake and safety as well as that of your business.
Your culture and working practices should all be backed up with a clear policy that outlines safe working practices, the communication procedures, training requirements and a record of any certifications that are required for the function of your business. This needs to be updated on a fairly regular basis and be readily available for new starters. Not looked at yours in a while? Then you’re not up to scratch…
A business with a healthy attitude to safety and that has a strong up to date policy that uses the right equipment in the right way - and has its employees’ welfare in mind when considering working practices - is a business that is up to scratch. If you don’t want your staff to become complacent about this then it is important to act on the above and set the right tone and ensure yours is a business based on solid, safe foundations.