Life can be a sequence of rules & regulations; often people consider this as too many risk & ways to single-mindedness on the task at hand. However, without applying the correct rules & regulations, you are placing individuals at risk & not following to regulations.
Suggestions for Managers
As a manager, you need to make sure that all the health & safety paperwork is completed. If not then force the admin to complete it for you.
For example, you need to make sure all of the documents mentioned above are completed & are present in one place.
- Health and safety policy/statement
- fire risk assessment for the premises
- adequate audits and inspections
- accident investigations (just being realistic!)
- disaster management and emergency action plans and robustly test them regularly (by that we do not just mean an annual fire drill!).
Make sure you are doing what you say you are! If you feel out of your depth or you are struggling to cover aspects of health and safety, find an expert who can help you. Alternatively, we have prepared some free sample documents which you can download for your use:-
Health and Safety Culture
You need to do what you say and work/act safely as well as expecting your staff to do the same. If they are scheduled to wear PPE, you need to wear it too. Support those who are trying to help you keep your workplace safe and don’t disregard health and safety as a nuisance or an unnecessary expense.
Demonstrate that it is important to you that everyone goes home safely to his or her family at the end of each day and doesn’t end up in Accident & Emergency, or even the morgue.
If someone has an accident or a ‘near miss,’ look after them and then support them in getting things right and help them to stop it happening again. Don’t be too quick to blame them because it might be your fault. Accidents sometimes occur as a result of workplace pressure, unrealistic workloads, and demands, as well as issues that have arisen before and haven’t been addressed.
Staff Safety Training
When you employ new staff, ask yourself if they have adequate on-boarding / induction training right from the start?
Have all your employees got sufficient information, instruction, training, and supervision to ensure they can work safely?
You might want to consider including on-the-job refresher training and toolbox talks.
Staff Welfare and Safety in the Workplace
Do your employees have safe access to work, a safe working area, safe procedures and safe machinery/tools/equipment?
Ensure the health and safety information you display and any training you provide is in a format that all staff can understand. Do you need to translate significant health and security information into other languages or formats (e.g. pictograms)? Don’t forget the HSE poster – that is a must!
You might want to create a checklist just to ensure you have covered issues such as:-
- workstation set up
- display screen equipment (DSE)
- manual handling
- hazardous chemicals
You will need to consider everyday matters such as heating, lighting and other environmental considerations.
Ask yourself if your staff are working realistic hours and are they getting adequate rest breaks? Do they have access to a kitchen and toilets? They may seem obvious considerations but sometimes the obvious needs to be stated.
As well as the above, there are specific factors you will need to cover when it comes to health and safety in the workplace.
- Lone working arrangements– You might be interested in our blog where we listed the top 10 reasons why having a lone worker system in the workplace is essential.
- PPE– Have your staff been issued with appropriate personal protective equipment? This should be a last resort after you have considered other ways of controlling the workplace risks! Take a look at some rather frightening statistics and find out why you really should keep your (PPE) kit on at work.
- First Aid & Emergency Arrangements– Do you have a designated First Aider? Ensure your employees know who that person is in the event of an accident and how they can get in touch quickly. Do they know what to do if there is a fire, a flood, or something worse?
- Vulnerable Staff– You will need to ensure you have individual risk assessments in place for vulnerable staff such as expectant mothers who work with chemicals, or for staff who are not as experienced because they are new to the role.
- Shared Business Premises / Building Site– If you’re working in an environment where other tasks or businesses are being carried out (e.g. several trades on a building site, or several firms in a building / industrial park) you’ll have a responsibility for the health and safety not just of your own staff but the security of all employees on that shared site.
- Third Party and Visitor Safety– How do you protect those coming into your premises and on your site? How do you protect passers-by and how might they compromise the safety of your staff? How do you stop unauthorized access including children and someone breaking in? (Yes, you are responsible for them too, even if you have not invited them!)
What exactly is Emergency Lighting?
This is pretty much standard in the corporate sector. You place a backup light in the case of primary light goes off. The Emergency lighting is sufficient to evacuate the building.
Smartphones are now an additive advantage offering better control over the lights. You can control lights within
Smarter devices now offer the benefit of better control, efficient operation and aid in on-going maintenance to improve functionality, usability and the expected lifetime of the product.
Improvement in the technology of emergency lighting gives businesses the opportunity to further progress the safety of their buildings and the protection of their employees and occupants. The advances and developments in LED and wireless technology for emergency lighting again illustrate the continuing importance of this safety feature in the workplace and other buildings, whether commercial or communal residential areas.
It is vital that emergency lighting systems be implemented in the correct areas of a building and adhere to all relevant standards, to ensure that everyone, no matter which part of the premises they work, can escape safely and appropriately. It is important to carry out a risk assessment when installing any emergency lighting to know which areas of the building are at a higher risk of danger so that all procedures are followed correctly and safely.
Emergency lights are crucial at both the start of an emergency and towards the end. Speed and efficiency will allow many of the occupants to escape unscathed, but a more complex crisis can cause difficulties. In the UK the emergency lighting duration is dependent upon the premise, with sites such as care homes, student accommodation and hospitals requiring 3 hours emergency output.
As it is the start of a new year, it is always worthwhile running through a few workplace safety tips and doing some general health and safety ‘spring cleaning,’ primarily to give you peace of mind and ensure all your systems are up-to-date and in good working order for the year ahead.