The Health and Safety Act 1974 spells out clearly that every business must place the health and safety of their staff, physical and emotional well being, at the forefront for everything that they do. This never stands still which is why ‘keeping up’ with ever-changing priorities and risks factors is time consuming. But it needn’t be with these strategies for saving time on health and safety management without cutting corners.
1 Appoint a health and safety officer
As a small business, you may find this isn’t needed but then again, no matter how large or small your employee base, appointing someone with the specific task of overseeing health and safety is never a wasted move.
With one or even two people taking an active role, everything that pertains to health and safety, any legal changes, for example, can be processed and communicated by them. This way, everyone stays up to date and any processes you put in place will also remain relevant.
2 Keep your health and safety policy alive
Like most policies, you can buy or download ‘dummy documents’ offline, adding your company name to make it your own. The temptation is however, that health and safety becomes a tick box exercise.
It isn’t. Risks and hazards in the workplace – your workplace – are continually changing and fluctuating. In effect, your response needs to do the same. So writing a policy that really fits with your organisation is essential and with your appointed H&S officer monitoring and reviewing on a regular and predetermined basis, you will be more adaptable and responsive to any changes.
3 Train your staff
Health and safety training is often a cue for lots of eye-rolling. All employees have to do is ‘turn up’, get through the session and then they can carry on with whatever it is that really needs doing.
For too long, health and safety has suffered from a poor reputation brought on by poor health and safety training plus the fact that it also was (and still is) used as a tool to stop change from happening.
Training staff in health and safety that has a positive slant and a clear focus as to why it is important, will save time on health and safety management because your employees will have a heightened sense of awareness of the environment around them and their actions too.
4 Make it part of ‘The Everyday’
Health and safety is often been seen and dealt with separately to other business processes. An indication perhaps of its importance, but by making it a part of ‘the everyday’ in your business, you’ll find that it flows much better but without down-scaling its importance.
5 Hire a health and safety expert
Setting up all these strategies takes time however, something that can be in short supply. Hiring a health and safety expert in the shape of a specialist company will not only save time but also prove to be a significant advantage for you and your employees.
How do you make health and safety an integral part of your company and operations? Does it feel like a millstone, something that has to be done but somehow, takes so long?