Health and safety is of the utmost importance in the workplace and while organisations strive to increase workplace safety, policies and guidelines by themselves aren’t enough. All employees should play an active role in upholding an organisation’s safety practices in the workplace. The pandemic itself has highlighted the importance of health and safety in the workplace and it should be a top priority among employers and employees alike. When the workforce shows a dedication to safety, different risks and hazards on-site can be quickly identified and corrective actions can be set.
Benefits of Health and Safety in the Workplace
A safe working environment can be created when the workforce are committed to upholding the existing health and safety policy, leading to a number of benefits for both the employers and the employees. Some of the benefits include:
- Less illnesses and injuries at work, leading to a much improved safety record with less costs and insurance claims
- A positive safety culture as employees see themselves as responsible for their colleagues in addition to themselves.
- With less days out due to injury and illness, productivity and efficiency is increased as a result.
- A company who has health and safety as a top priority will see less employee turnover and a boost in employee morale given that the organisation has committed to keeping their workforce safe.
Workplace Safety Tips
To create a safer work environment, employees should consider the following tips as best practice going forward:
- Report hazardous conditions: Active communication is significant within the workplace, particularly when it comes to health and safety. All members of the workforce must report hazardous conditions immediately to help protect their colleagues and themselves.
- Maintain a tidy workspace: Keep your workspace free from clutter and remove any unnecessary items from your workspace. Sanitise your workspace frequently, particularly if they are shared with other colleagues. Check for trip and slip hazards and remove them as they arise.
- Take breaks: It’s important to take regular breaks to prevent injury or mistakes when completing tasks in the workplace and consider tackling potentially dangerous jobs when you’re fresh such as in the morning or after a break.
- Wear personal protection equipment (PPE): It’s crucial that employees wear all the necessary PPE for the assigned task. Whether it’s ear plugs, goggles, a hard hat or a respirator, use the recommended equipment and consider the health and safety of yourself and your employees.
- Don’t cut corners: Refrain from cutting corners on the way to completing a task in a shorter amount of time. Use the necessary tools or equipment to complete the task to avoid injuries or dangerous situations which put yourself and your colleagues at risk
- Stay up to date with new procedures or protocols: Educate yourself or your employees on new procedures, protocols, or even equipment that are introduced to the workplace and highlight what’s required to avoid incidents.
- Prioritise ergonomics: Keep your workstation clean and organised with everything in reach, focus on good posture, use a proper technique when lifting and don’t attempt to lift items that are too heavy without help or the appropriate equipment.
- Use machinery and tools correctly: Make sure you have the required training, you use them for their proper function, avoid shortcuts and wear the necessary PPE.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Familiarise yourself with the potential hazards that exist as this can significantly lower the chances of an accident. Be aware of the nearest exit in case of an emergency.
- Guide new employees: Educate them on the organisation’s safety culture and the required standards that need to be upheld. Once employees understand the value of safety within the organisation, they will work with others to create a safer environment.
Check to see if you are up to date on the required policies and certifications, and book the safe pass course online to raise the standard of safety awareness in the construction industry. The SOLAS safe pass is an essential for construction workers throughout Ireland as it will provide you with the practical skills needed for a safe work environment.