Why Your Health & Safety Policy Isn't Enough
This week on Workshop Wednesday we are talking about the elephant in the room, Health and Safety Policies.
A Health and Safety Policy is where you will have all your processes, procedures, checklists and anything else to do with safety in your business.
The issue is that just having a policy is not enough to keep you out of trouble. We have found that a lot of people and businesses will get a policy made because its a requirement for a certain job, or they want people to think they are safe, the list of reasons go on. But what happens is people do nothing with the policy, and that's where the problem is.
Over to Zane and Adelaide
Now you might be thinking, "hold on a minute, didn't they tell last year me to throw my safety manual in the bin?" We certainly did and with good reason. If your safety policy or manual is collecting dust, never being used and you don't follow what it says, then throw it out. You may as well start again.
5 key areas
However a Health and Safety Policy is really important as it sets in place what the procedures and way of doings things with safety are. We think there are 5 key areas that a policy should cover:
- How do we report and record things that happen?
- How do we manage the risks that are going on?
- How do we train people to get the right skills for their job?
- How do we make sure the gear and the stuff we use is safe?
- How do we review the things that happen and learn from our mistakes?
5 pretty easy questions to get you started, if you can answer those then you are on your way to having a good Health and Safety Policy. The key here is to keep them practical to the work you do. For example, if something happens, don't make the process of reporting really complex. Instead get some online software so you can just log on and click a few buttons, say what happened and press save, sending alerts out to the people that need to know. Easy, and we can probably help with the online safety software.
Prove that you follow your policy
Even having a practical Health and Safety Policy that you follow is not enough, you need to prove if. Whether it's Worksafe, someone doing and audit, a potential business investor or partner, an employee, or even a customer of yours, it's likely that you will get asked at some point for proof that you follow your policy.
You could keep lots of paper records of when training has been done, accident forms, risk management forms, etc. You could even keep it in a filing cabinet or a vault to keep it safe. OR You could make your life easier and turn the paper records into information you can actually use to improve not only safety but your business, by using online software like PeopleSafe.
PeopleSafe has a great and user friendly way of reporting and reviewing what happens called "Tell your Story". You can easily manage and let others know about the risks your workplace. There is a whole section dedicated to training. Another section all on gear. Not to mention the automatic reminders, all your staff get involved, and theres even a place to upload your safety policy so everyone can see it!
So what do I need to do now that I have read this great article?
Make an easy to follow Health and Safety Policy, keep it practical to the work you do.
- Get some online safety software (PeopleSafe) to make managing safety easy.
- Use the safety software and follow your policy so you can prove that you are awesome.
- And be safe.
See you next week!
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