Last year we discussed ILO World day for safety and health at work and how businesses themselves can work towards improving health and safety in the working environment. This year is the centenary anniversary from the inception of the ILO in 1919.
Just to recap The ILO’s campaign for the World day for safety and health at work is an annual international campaign to promote safe and healthy working environments.
The ILO is always working on improving occupational safety and health and looks to the future for continuing these efforts through major changes such as technology and changes in work organization. With the centenary the ILO are launching a global report, sharing the story of a 100 years in promoting safe and healthy working environments. More importantly, the global report will touch upon the changes in work arrangements, technology (digitalisation and ICT, platform work, automation and robotics), that are affecting the dynamics of safety and health.
Every year 2.78 million workers die from occupational accidents and work-related diseases (of which 2.4 million are disease-related) and an additional 374 million workers suffer from non-fatal occupational accidents. In addition the human cost of this daily adversity is vast and the economic burden of poor occupational safety and health practices is estimated at 3.94% of global Gross Domestic Product each year.
So how can your business improve on site Health and Safety?
1,Develop a safety plan
As an employer it is your responsibility to identify any hazards or risks within the workplace and take steps to eliminate or minimize them. Tell your employees what you will do to ensure their safety and what you expect from them. Make sure your employees have access to even the most basic of safety implements such as first aid kits, extinguishers and PPE.
2, Inspect your workplace
Regularly check equipment to ensure that they are well maintained and safe to use. Check any storage areas and frequently review safe work procedures.
Ask yourself these simple guidelines: – When was any electrical equipment and machinery last safety checked? Are items in your storage area stored in a safe manner? Are your employees instructed on how to use equipment or carry goods without injuring themselves? Do your employees know where the fire exit is or where they should gather if there is an emergency?
Meet regularly with your staff and discuss health and safety issues. Encourage them to share their thoughts on how to improve safety in the workplace. Larger organisations should consider providing first aid and fire marshal training for staff so they are prepared to deal with emergency situations.
4, Follow up incidents
Always conduct an investigation into on site incidents. Big or small, knowing why any incidents have occured will help to determine the required preventative steps.
Keep records of all first aid treatment, inspections, incident investigations, and training activities. This information can help you identify trends in unsafe conditions or work procedures.
6, Make safety a part of your business
Safety shouldn’t be an afterthought. A commitment to health and safety protects the health and wellbeing of your workforce.
7, Train your staff
Proper training is necessary for all employees, especially if there is a risk for potential injury associated with a job. Provide instructions and safe work procedures so they can check for themselves if they are unsure of a task or have forgotten part of their training. Supervise your employees to ensure that they are using their training to perform their job properly and safely. By not providing the correct training for your employees you are not only endangering the safety of your employees but you will be held liable for the incident which could have serious consequences.
8, Set up a health and safety system
Your business may already have a health and safety system in place, but it is important to ensure they are meeting the needs of your staff and business.
- If you employ five or more people you must have a health and safety policy with records of staff compliance stored on a robust system. This is for auditing and governance purposes.
- Your system must communicate your health and safety procedures to staff, contractors and visitors, clearly and consistently.
- Effectively plan and control the training and reporting needed to ensure good health and safety compliance. Many companies nowadays turn to implementing health and safety management systems such as Online Induction Systems in place of paper based methods.
Why health and safety management systems?
Health and safety training is crucial in creating a safe working environment for your workforce from day one.
In order to create a safe working environment most companies induct their workforce using traditional face-to-face delivery. However research has shown that traditional training opens itself to inconsistent messaging and relies greatly on the trainer.
Businesses using health and safety management systems however, have found that the training is far more efficient. Online Induction Systems harmonise the delivery into consistent and easy to absorb information for all learners. Additionally learners can work through content at their own pace and employee compliance can be easily tracked with reporting tools.
Online tracking ensures learners repeat any necessary content until compliance is achieved, ensuring full awareness of site safety protocols. As a result guaranteeing a better safer working environment for all.
How do businesses benefit from having an Induction system?
Organisations using Induction Systems state the benefits of such programmes are:
- Ensures a safe and motivated workforce
- Can save your company more in time, money and staff competency
- Ensures operational efficiency
- New employees become productive sooner
- Creates a positive perception of the organisation while communicating its established culture, values and goals
- Increase the retention of new employees as they are more likely to commit to a longer term
An Induction System is an effective way of making sure that your employees are properly inducted and compliant.
ILO International safety and health at work day takes place 28th April 2019.