It’s Safe Work Month, this October, and you’ve no doubt heard many, many messages about safety in the workplace. You will have heard about big, grand ideas and scary statistics that just make you want to bury your head in the sand. So here’s 5 simple steps to become proactive about safety in your workplace. They don’t require a big budget, or months’ worth of preparation- just go out there and do it!
1. Take it seriously. It won’t happen to me is a recipe for disaster. You can improve safety by improving your attitude towards it. However, an attitude of accepting accidents can happen; that your line of work is just dangerous is no better. A proactive mindset, of ‘How can I improve/prevent/manage this?’ can influence change and improve safety. Added bonus; it’s free!
2. Look around you. Really look around you. What have you been letting slide or get out of control that could be a hazard? Computer cords, electrical leads, rubbish piles, guarding that’s been removed from machines or tools and deteriorating quality of personal protective equipment (PPE) are often overlooked in the day-to-day rush of getting things done. Fix it when you see it.
3. Be prepared. Have you got a first aid kit? When was it last checked to ensure you had all the items you might need, or that items in it haven’t passed their expiry date? If you’ve got a wash station, check that it’s working and that it’s easily accessible. The last thing you want to do is be moving storage boxes out of the way when you need to access the shower in a hurry!
4. Talk to your team. Regularly open up the conversation with your staff in relation to safety. You can do this formally, in the form of a ‘tool box’ meeting, but that shouldn’t stop you talking to your team at other times. Sometimes people don’t like to speak up in a group setting, so the opportunity for one-on-one communication also needs to be available.
5. Regularly observe people doing their work. You can do this easily by walking around your workplace, to see how they are performing their jobs. You may find people taking dangerous shortcuts or processes outside of your agreed safe work method. This is an opportunity to discreetly remind them of the safe way to complete that task, before waiting for an accident to happen.
If it’s still all too much, give our WHS manager, John, a call today. He’ll arrange a consultation for your workplace, to proactively manage your safety needs.