Often when something goes wrong at work, it goes wrong quickly and with disastrous consequences.
Putting on a different hat for a moment, below are the top 12 workplace health and safety hazards that safety inspectors regularly find during visits to small businesses.
- manual handling
- housekeeping and slips, trips and falls
- storage and racking – avoiding storage systems being overloaded
- working at heights
- storing and using chemicals and fuels
- fire safety and evacuation procedures
- first aid and equipment
- machinery, equipment & asset maintenance
- asbestos & silica
- protecting young workers and business insurance
If you were to walk around your business and with hand on heart could you guarantee no issues exist in your business starting with these categories. The best way to overcome issues is to consult your team, in fact by law you must consult your workers and health and safety representatives (if you have them) about health and safety matters that directly affect them or are likely to directly affect them.
Consultation must involve sharing information with workers, giving workers a reasonable opportunity to express their view and taking those views into account. It can be done in a number of ways, including setting up a health and safety committee or holding regular meetings, ‘toolbox meetings’ are particularly good and should be held and documented often. By drawing on workers’ knowledge and experience, better decisions can be made about health and safety. Workers who are involved in safety decision making are more inclined to adopt safer practices, which is likely to mean fewer workplace injuries and improves ‘culture’.
But it’s not enough to look around your workplace once and then forget about health and safety. You need to regularly check your workplace to make sure any safety solutions you have used are still working and identify and fix any new hazards. Having a planned approach and even a health and safety management system is an organised and systematic way to continually improve health and safety in your workplace.
So, getting back to the ‘overwhelming’ piece in the title, we’re here to help in any way we can and provide manageable solutions, so give us a call anytime to discuss your needs.