Why NOT to make a Big Deal about Health and Safety

It's Workshop Wednesday time once again! This week we are talking about "Why NOT to make a big deal about Health and Safety."

Often we see businesses making it a big deal and any idea or decision is put through a committee then a sub committee then a working group. By the end of it the idea no longer works and you end up with a really silly policy like wearing helmets in all work vehicles. But hey, it went through all those groups, good job! Health and Safety should not be like this at all, over to Zane and Alice!

Many businesses, especially coming up to the law change later in the year, will start focusing on Health and Safety and will make it a priority in their workplace. They will make it a big deal. Now there is nothing wrong with that, we think making safety a priority and is a good idea, but it comes down to the way you approach it.

Some people will approach it practically, focusing on people and looking at the risks. But some people will think lots of rules and committees is the way to go, so they set them all up, but the people in the workplace are still facing the same risks and are just annoyed at stupid Health and Safety.

They make a big deal about it but don't actually do anything and that's a problem. So instead of going over the top and making silly committees to sort out risks, here is what we think you should be focusing on:

  • Make sure your people are trained to do the work they are doing. Thats right people. One of the biggest risks in a workplace is a person not trained properly. So make sure they are trained and know what they are doing.
  • Make sure the gear you have is actually safe. Is the gear your people using safe? Check it, are all the safety features working or still attached? Is it maintained? Does it have the right certification? Unsafe gear can be dangerous so make sure its safe.
  • Make sure you are doing something when someone gets hurt. When someone gets hurt, don't just ignore it, first make sure they are ok then find out what happened. There might be a risk you didn't know about, or something has broken, or they might need more training. By learning what happened you can do something effective about it and stop it from happening again.
  • Make sure you keep Health and Safety records. Keeping records of your people, their training, the gear they use and the risks in your workplace is important not only for proving you are following the law, but it can actually help your business and your people to be safer. Learning from whats happened in the past so it doesn't happen again, letting all staff know about the risks where they work, knowing if gear needs to be checked and when, it also helps you to not be caught out with people not being trained.
    If only their was some cool software made by a really cool company to help you manage all your health and safety records.

Health and safety is about doing something you're not already flipping well doing. It's about being practical, doing things that will actually keep people safe and most of all, focusing on your people, can they do the job, can they do it safely, and will they get home at the end of the day in the same condition they arrived. It's not rocket science.

So don't go making a big deal about Health and Safety, keep it practical and keep it people focused.
See you next week!

Let us know what you think by commenting below or send an email to questions@peoplesafe.co.nz
Be sure to check out how the PeopleSafe software can help you to manage health and safety in your business.