Even in the safest of work environments hazards come from all sides, this is why having a safety measure, or several of them, is not enough. Therefore, what any serious Australian entrepreneur needs is a system, a safety program, that envelops various sources of hazard, scenarios and outcomes. In this way, your team will feel a lot safer and you’ll avoid numerous suits, injury leaves and PR disasters. However, making a reliable employee safety program is far from simple and there are several things that you have to try out first. Here are some suggestions on where you should start.
The first thing you need to do is realize that in order to see what kind of an improvement you’re making, is understand that you need to have a reference point. For instance, saying that there are 300 percent fewer accidents in the workplace is a bold statement that depends on your interpretation of the accident, the period that you’re comparing against and much more.
Therefore, you need reliable metrics that you can use in order to measure the performance of your safety program. Most commonly, we’re talking about the number of working days since the last incident, total accident rate and accident severity rate (this is why we started the subject of interpretation, to begin with). From a financial standpoint, you could also look at the metric of lost time, which could help you understand the ROI behind investing in safety much better.
Start with adequate training
The biggest misconception about safety training lies in the fact that some entrepreneurs believe that this consists of a drill that your new hires need to undergo once they start working for you. No, this is not just for new employees, seeing as how there are new safety trends coming up every day and, with time, people tend to forget things they haven’t had a chance to use. So, what you need to do is compose a system that will allow you to keep everyone on track.
One of the most important things you should keep in mind is the fact that the importance of having some professional assistance can’t be stressed out enough. You see, hazardous scenarios like unexpected disasters may require you to engage in rescue actions that have to be performed before specialized teams reach the spot. Fortunately, there are some amazing Sydney rescue courses that you can enlist your team in.
Adequate gear and equipment
The next thing you need to consider is the importance of having adequate gear and equipment for your team. Sometimes this is mandated by law, while on other occasions it’s an ethical and pragmatic thing to do. Therefore, make sure that it fits your budget and, if you see no other way, try to make an estimate of all the fines, settlements, reprisals and debts that you’ll get into if you fail to acquire it. This should help justify any costs that you could encounter. Still, getting all this gear is just the tip of the iceberg.
More importantly, you need to split this safety gear into categories, explain when it is absolutely necessary and explain (to the last detail) how it should be put on, worn, adjusted and taken off. Other than this, it’s important that you describe the limitations of equipment (even the best of equipment has it), as well as discuss its proper care and its eventual disposal. Only in this way will you make the way in which it protects you systemic enough.
Start an efficient reporting system
Earlier on we talked about various metrics, well, metrics aren’t as effective if you aren’t vigilant enough in gathering data. This means that you have to start an efficient reporting system as soon as possible. First of all, you need to establish suitable forms, formats and templates for filing a report. Then, you need to choose a recipient of the report (a department, email or individual in your employ). The important thing is that it all ends up in the same place so that you can later analyze and sort it accordingly. Remember, in time, this will mostly be automated.
Abide by the law
When it comes to safety, the following guidelines is far more important than you may assume it to be at the moment. Not only does it help prevent unnecessary injuries and illnesses but it’s also there to insulate you from potentially expensive fines and penalties. Sometimes these regulations may seem too harsh, however, remember that it’s impossible for any government organization to predict or foresee all the possible events and outcomes. In other words, these regulations are a mere minimum that you have to cover, the more you do the better. Sure, a conscientious entrepreneur needs no persuasion
Compose an inspection checklist
In order to keep the place safe, you need to make a continuous effort in ensuring that things are so. Nonetheless, if you’re going to do this over and over again, you could find a pattern that you need to follow. The most efficient way to do so is to get an inspection checklist and stick to it. Not only will this speed up the entire process but it will also ensure that you don’t miss out on anything important. It also splits your inspection into categories, which allows you a much more systemic approach to this situation. For instance, you can start with electrical installations and make sure that everything is in order here before proceeding to check out your emergency equipment.
In the end, creating a successful employee safety program may not be something that can guarantee the safety of your employees with maximum reliability but it something that you simply must do. Unless your employees do their part, not much can be achieved and this won’t always be up to you. Still, it’s your job to provide them with all the necessary conditions, equipment and training. By following this guide, you just might get there much sooner.