Increase Risk Awareness

Operating a healthy and safe working environment for your employees is not only good practice, but it’s also a legal requirement. Failing to comply with health and safety regulations and guidance could see your premises being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and potentially being fined, prosecuted or closed down.

Despite strict HSE guidelines, there are still in the region of 150 workers suffering a fatal injury at work each year. Although this represents a massive decline of 80 per cent since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, it is still 150 too many. Policies like the Co-operative business insurance are there to protect workers and business owners from expensive claims or losses, but shouldn’t be used as a replacement for excellent health and safety practice.

Getting the standard of health and safety up in the workplace means everyone has to be on board with the policies and practices of the business. This means every single staff member, as well as visitors and guests, needs to be risk aware and prepared to take action to minimise risks. Aside of expensive and time-consuming training courses however, how else can you promote risk awareness to the people in yourworkplace?

  • Make it a regular feature

If you have a regular team meeting, as most workplaces do, stick health and safety on the agenda. Ask employees to raise any issues or concerns that they have and keep them updated on legislative changes that may affect your business. Keep it on the agenda permanently to keep it at the forefront of employee’s minds.

  • Make employees accountable

As an employer, it is your responsibility to provide a safe and healthy working environment for your workforce. However, maintaining a safe and risk-free environment is their responsibility too. Make it clear that individual people are responsible for their personal safety, as are others who enter their working space.

  • Set out procedures that everyone understands

Have a clear means of risk identification and management for your workplace and involve your team in the planning and implementation of these procedures. People need to know how to report a risk, when to take action and who to involve, so make sure these pieces of information are clearly set out and that everyone is fully ‘bought in’ to the processes your workplace is adopting.

  • Create a ‘don’t walk by’ mentality

Dangers that may seem innocuous can become turn highly hazardous for your workforce if they are not rectified readily. Aim to create a culture where everyone is confident in being able to address unsafe acts or situations openly, without fear of repercussions.

Risks to health and safety are not acceptable in any workplace and although you might be in a situation where your building or industry contains certain hazards that are beyond your control, it is your responsibility to help everyone understand when a hazard becomes a risk and what they should be doing about it.