Put simply, risk is the possibility of something bad happening. Risk involves uncertainty about the implications of an activity with respect to something we value. In the workplace, what we value is the safety of ourselves and our coworkers.
We know that every workplace has risks and hazards and, as a health and safety professional, it’s up to you to help your organisation mitigate risks and embed a safety culture that manages risk before it can cause harm.
Globally someone of the most common work accidents and injuries can be credited to:
- Slips, trips & falls
- Manual handling accidents
- Car collisions
- Electrical Accidents
Interested in using your safety expertise to play a game? Click here to see how many hazards you can spot.
So, if we are aware of what the most common causes are, why are we still having difficulty spotting and fixing them? Do we really want to go into 2021 with the same methods used to get through 2020? Based on the conversations we’ve been having – the answer is no. This is why we’ve put together our three top steps to implement so you can control hazards and risks in your workplace:
1. Establish safety leaders throughout your organisation
Safety performance is typically driven from the top-down at an organisation. Leaders establish the culture, develop processes, and help ensure accountability of health and safety. Leaders set the standard, but health and safety leadership cannot come solely from the top levels of an organization.
Do not think about leadership as only being the C-suite. Every single manager and supervisor need to be involved in making safety a priority to give every employee a safety voice. This helps ensure engagement and an alignment of values. In addition to having managers and supervisors, organisations can encourage everyone to become a safety leader.
2. Making total employee engagement your North Star
In 2016, Gallup studied more than 1.8 million global employees and their workplaces to determine how engagement impacted safety. It found that employees and workplaces with high levels of engagement saw fewer workplace accidents than those with lower engagement. For example, organisations rated in the top 25% for engagement had 70 percent fewer incidents than those in the bottom 25 percent.
When a workforce takes ownership of safety, productivity improves. With the threat of incidents reduced, productivity increases, and employees become even more engaged. They are committed to helping the business succeed—safely.
3. Implement a mobile-first health and safety management process
The easier you make a task, the more likely someone is to do it. For example, suppose a worker needs to report an incident or share equipment inspection information. If it’s a complicated process that requires paper documents or going to a computer and logging in, that worker is likely to balk at having to stop everything to get the report done. An additional benefit in the current climate is using your own device vs a shared computer or paper – both of which carry the possibility of covid transmission.
Offering workers the ability to handle safety incidents and other safety activities with devices they use every day encourages them to be more active and engaged participants in safety. Taking a photo with a phone or scanning equipment enables them to report an incident or complete an inspection and keep on moving. These kinds of mobile solutions are making it easy for everyone to participate and engage in health and safety from any location.
Spot the Hazard for a Chance to Win an Amazon Voucher
As we’ve discussed in this article, we know a key element to mitigating workplace risk and reducing incidents is spotting hazards and making behavioural observations.…Now, how would you like to earn a prize using your health and safety expertise?