How to Design Health and Safety at Work Guidelines

Whether you work in construction or engineering, health and safety at work matters. Health and safety is not a course you take once, and then you don’t need a refresher. Safety guidelines should be routinely gone over, reminding employees of what performance expectations are. Companies must emphasize the responsibility of safety, teaching employees how to behave should there be an emergency.

There are a few ways to gently remind employees of health and safety guidelines without necessarily making it targeted. Here is how to design health and safety at work guidelines:

Be the safety role model

Let’s use the construction industry as an example. All commercial construction companies should be following all health and safety guidelines to a tee at a management level. If employees see you slacking off or taking shortcuts, they will see it as permission to do the same.

Contrarily, if you demonstrate how important health and safety guidelines are to you, it communicates what you expect from employees and lets them know how their performance should be. Always assume someone is watching and be the role model your company deserves.

Having safety inventory

It’s important to have the resources to have adequate health and safety at work. This means having personal protective gear in tip-top shape and basic health and safety cleaners and tools. It might be a bit different for every job regarding what’s expected.

A construction site will have a lot of different health and safety guidelines than an office. Equip yourself with the inventory your workforce needs to perform their job safely.

Address new safety hazards at work

A construction site is a great example of this. New hazards and risks every day are depending on the task at hand and where you’re working. As you might change where you’re working or what you’re dealing with, do not assume that all employees are aware of it when new hazards and risks present. Draw attention to these new hazards and risks, and explain the safety guidelines that can be utilized to resolve them.

Remove hazardous behaviour

If you notice an employee is misbehaving and potentially putting themselves or their colleagues at risk, take them out of the work setting immediately. As a supervisor, this can be the best way to address a situation where someone’s a safety risk.

It’s also the exact approach to take if you notice a non-personnel hazard. Even if it takes slightly longer to do a task, that’s alright. It’s much more important to do it safely than to rush it and risk someone getting hurt.

Pair up employees for safety

Although everyone should be fully trained and briefed on health and safety guidelines, it won’t hurt to pair up employees occasionally and assign accountability partners. This can be beneficial in several ways unrelated to health and safety, such as team-building and motivation. However, it benefits health and safety because paired employees are more likely to perform in a consciously safe manner as they do their work.

Post safety bulletins & public notices.

A simple non-confrontational way to remind employees of health and safety guidelines is signage. Have bulletins—post public notices. If there is a business email, send out an email of guidelines every quarter.

Suppose there are specific hazards to look out for. In that case, clear signage in the work environment is another way to ensure employees know the risks and understand what guidelines to apply to a given situation.

Routine safety performance reviews

A performance review is an opportunity to have a short discussion on safety. It’s a private setting where employees can concern or address what they might consider unsafe work conditions.

Alternatively, if you know an employee has been a safety risk in the past, a performance review can evaluate how they’ve improved. If there have been recent safety incidents, it can be a chance to have a conversation with an employee on their feelings about it.

Hold regular safety talks at work

There are many different approaches to safety talks, from going over health and safety rules to specific instructions on using PPE. How you structure your safety talks is up to you. However, having a regular setting where safety can be discussed allows you to follow many guidelines.

It also can be an important part of these safety talks to ask employees if they have questions. All in all, even a short discussion can serve as an important reminder of health and safety guidelines.

Make safety a part of work culture

Make safety a component of your company culture. From the minute an employee starts on the job, they should know how important safety is. At the same time, mention productivity and performance, including health and safety, in this talk.

When onboarding employees, safety reminders can be key to setting the tone for what’s expected in the workplace. A daily safety topic is an excellent long-term approach and another way to highlight safety in a fun way.

  • Gretchen is a free-spirited blogger focused on ways to improve her spiritual and emotional health. She uses the MANDALA HEALS blog to dispense advice, tutorials & guides on various topics.

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