Small business owners and managers naturally have a lot on their plate. Aside from the usual administrative, marketing, sales and financial responsibilities, it is also their primary duty to ensure the health and safety of all of their workers – may they be regular employees, contractors/subcontractors, outworkers, apprentices or trainees, and volunteers.
It is, therefore, important that workplace health and safety (WHS) practices are prioritised and committed to.
We’ve put together some essential steps and tips that you can apply to effectively manage health and safety in your company:
Lead by Example
Effective workplace health and safety management requires strong leadership and a commitment from the owners and managers to make safety a priority.
Managers must lead by example. Show your employees your enthusiasm and interest in good health and safety in the workplace. Walk the talk and be the first to follow the rules and policies the management has set.
Identify, Assess, and Control Hazards
Regardless of the size, nature, and location of your business, you need to identify what your workplace’s health and safety hazards are. Inspect your office or site. Watch how your employees work and see if they have unsafe work practices.
It’s good to review your accidents and illness records, as well as legislations related to your workplace, then make a plan on how to control these hazards. You can get the services of specialists or experts, who can assess and help you control the workplace hazards.
Develop a Health and Safety Policy
In order to develop an effective health and safety policy for your organisation, you need to be aware of, understand, and comply with the WHS acts and regulations developed by Safe Work Australia. Establishing and communicating a written policy that everyone can access shows how committed you are to health and safety.
Training and Education
It is important for not only the senior management to be educated and trained about health and safety policies and practice, but all employees, whether they’re temporary or permanent need to ensure they are compliant with WHS regulations to avoid injury and accidents from happening.
It is also important for you to educate your team on the resources available to protect your workers and how they should respond to reports of accidents and unhealthy or unsafe work practices.
Encourage Employee Involvement
Health and safety is also your employees or workers’ responsibility. They play a huge part in the success of your health and safety practices, so make sure you involve them and hold them accountable.
To do this you could consider forming a health and safety committee and delegate safety tasks to your employees. Keeping an open line of communication is also vital. This way, they can easily report injuries, illnesses, and hazards; give their feedback on how to improve your WHS processes; and be rewarded for promoting a healthy and safe workplace.
A healthy and safe work environment is key to the overall well-being of your workers.
Consequently, this leads to quality job performance, better results and profits, and business growth. Apply the steps above, stay committed, and continually improve your health and safety management system to have a more successful business.