18 Tips For Creating A Workplace Health and Safety Program

October 7, 2021
Tips For Creating A Workplace Health and Safety Program

To create a effective safety culture, you need a solid plan.

A health and safety program is an organized, written action plan to identify and control hazards, define safety responsibilities and respond to emergencies that result in the prevention of accidents and occupational diseases.

Although there is no standard format for health and safety programs, it must be clear, concise, consistent with other related resources such as the employee handbook and job descriptions, and easy to read.

To create a work safety program that meets local standards and business requirements:

1. Define your goals

To achieve an accident-free workplace you must set objectives that are written down on paper. Goals can include preventing accidents, increasing awareness of hazards or improving relationships with employees.

2. Have a plan of action

A plan of action should be included in your program with specific measures to be taken for correcting health and safety problems.

For example how does the business intend to minimize risks involving moving machinery? What will happen if someone does not follow these procedures?

Will disciplinary action be taken against the violator? A written record of agreed-upon corrective measures will help prevent problems from reoccurring.

3. Establish a timetable

Communicate your objectives and methods by setting deadlines for completion. The program should outline a schedule that includes specific steps to be completed at regular intervals, such as every quarter or semester.

4. Train staff

Inform all employees on the requirements of the safety program and how it benefits them. Emphasize that everyone makes a contribution in preventing accidents on the job.

Explain how each employee can live up to the company’s goals so they know what is expected from them. Employees must understand health and safety hazards, information about their rights as workers, their responsibilities and emergency response procedures.

If you have doubt about an employee who is not getting the message, think about retraining or reassigning them.

5. Document your program

Keep records of input from meetings, reports and assessment activities. Make sure that you have a copy of what was said at each meeting.

Have a systematic way to review activities and results on an ongoing basis so you can judge if progress is being made in making improvements needed. If something does go wrong – such as a workplace injury – it should be analyzed to determine the causes and ways to prevent future tragedies.

6. Enforce your policies

Set disciplinary actions for violations of rules. Implement sanctions commensurate with the seriousness and frequency of infractions.

7. Monitor results

Evaluate completed programs by identifying measures that are working well and areas where improvement is necessary. Then make plans to adjust your program.

8. Keep it updated

The most important aspect of any safety program is its ability to evolve along with the needs of the business and meet potential hazards as they arise. Periodically review your health and safety plan for accuracy, appropriateness, effectiveness and currency.

9. Understand how work gets done

Workplace hazards arise when workers don’t follow procedures or use equipment incorrectly. Getting back to basics and making sure that everyone understands how things are supposed to get completed will prevent accidents from occurring later on in the process.

10. Know what management expects of you

Employees need to know what management expects of them by conducting frequent training sessions on health and safety issues at the workplace.

Managers should be able to tell you exactly what they expect out of their employees for any job function they perform so there is no confusion about what should be done in case of an emergency.

11. Communicate and enforce rules

The importance of communication should never be underestimated. This is vital for creating a safe working environment.

Make sure that everyone is communicating clearly with each other, especially when it comes to discussing health and safety issues at the workplace.

Create norms for reporting incidents and near misses and have practices in place to assess how accidents occur, why they happen, who is responsible and what can be learned from them to prevent future occurrences.

12. Take immediate action if there are violations

Managers must take corrective actions immediately if a violation occurs because the longer it takes to address hazardous conditions, the more likely injuries will occur within your work area. In addition, managers need to make sure that employees understand what corrective actions were taken and why.

13. Look out for hazards

Hazards can lurk anywhere in the office, so it’s important to identify potential hazards and take precautions to minimize their effect on your workers.

Regularly inspect the workplace for health or safety violations. Make sure that everything is working properly before you begin any tasks and report broken equipment immediately to get it fixed as soon as possible.

It is also necessary to use protective gear like smoke hoods & other safety gears when working with hazardous chemicals/substances, heavy machineries, using high voltage electricity etc. This will reduce chances of personal injury while performing job functions at workplace.

14. Teach everyone required knowledge

Employees should be trained appropriately for their job roles and tasks.

For example, a receptionist should know how to use the fire extinguisher and safe evacuation procedures during an emergency like a fire.

This will help them identify dangerous situations or when someone is injured in the workplace. They can then raise an alarm and assist others (e.g., sending someone to call 911).

15. Get rid of clutter

It would be difficult for employees to work in cluttered areas where it’s necessary to move around broken furniture, boxes etc., so make sure that things aren’t kept randomly in work area at your office.

Things should be organized properly instead because this requires less effort while working in such environments and makes it easier for everyone to find items needed quickly for performing task, reduces accidents in office and makes work easier.

16. Use appropriate safety materials

Personal protective gear is vital to workplace safety because it reduces exposure to chemicals, heavy machinery or other hazards that pose a threat at the workplace.

These can include masks, gloves, goggles etc., which are used while handling hazardous substances like chemicals in laboratories, biological agents on hospital wards/operation theatres, flammable gases used in workshops etc.

Making sure staff is properly protected means lower risk of accidents happening due to these factors and preventing any personal injury sustained by those working with such equipment being exposed to these dangers without necessary safety protection methods at work place.

17. Take steps for improving air quality

An enclosed space can quickly turn into a toxic environment if dust accumulates over time. To avoid respiratory conditions, such as asthma or allergies, maintain a clean work area by dusting down work surfaces and vacuuming carpets regularly to keep the air fresh for all workers at your office.

18. Take steps & implement policies to prevent slips-trips and falls

The workplace should be kept reasonably dry by maintaining a good level of lighting during working hours and cleaning up any spills immediately they happen.

This reduce slip trips and falls in your office because these can cause serious injuries like head injury or broken bones etc, which could occur while employees are walking on slippery floors/treads of stairs, cleaning up spillages with oily rags, opening dusty cabinets etc. In case some accident happens due to slip-tripping falling.

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