Here’s the thing about Health and Safety practices; it tends to only become a priority in businesses after something has gone wrong.
We all know it’s important and something every business needs to consider. And yet when you’ve got deadlines to meet, sales goals to hit, and new clients to pitch to, Health and Safety is usually one of the first areas to slip to the bottom of the pile.
Mention Health and Safety and, more often than not, it will conjure up memories of tiresome outdated videos advising the correct way to lift a box. It’s far from inspirational stuff.
Of course, this doesn’t have to be the case. Change your approach to Health and Safety in business, and it can be really engaging, thought-provoking, and crucial to a happy and productive workplace.
It also engenders a sense of trust in the organisation, and that can help recruit the right people into your business.
So, how do you go about turning Health and Safety in your business from ‘just another tick box exercise’ to something infinitely useful that your employees will want to engage in?
It’s important to set aside a realistic and healthy budget for your Health and Safety practices. This doesn’t have to be huge, but it should be enough to enable you to spend money on initiatives that really function in the workplace, rather than just going through the motions to achieve the bare minimum. You should treat your Health and Safety budget the same as you would any other and make sure you’re not needlessly draining money where it could be better spent elsewhere.
Who is it in your business that is providing Health and Safety information to your employees and taking on the management of it in your company? This is an integral role with great responsibility; make sure whoever takes it on is up to the job; and excited to do it!
The most effective Health and Safety working practices strategies exist where there is genuine collaboration across the business, and people see it as something that either stands in the way of them doing their job properly or at the very least makes it as difficult as possible.
In reality, it should be anything but. A good Health and Safety Manager will be both collaborative and enabling. They should be motivated to find solutions and ideas that allow people to carry out their work in the safest way possible.
Without the appropriate training, no Health and Safety Manager can be expected to carry out their job properly. And without the right approach, they won’t be able to instil any of the same values and ethos in your employees. Open courses are a brilliant way of conducting face-to-face training and encourage your staff to think about Health and Safety from a practical perspective and one that is relevant to them.
Often the best way of engaging with a topic or sparking interest is through real experiences and shared knowledge from people in the know. If you have a lot of staff, you need to carry out Health and Safety training for, or perhaps a team that will be taking on extra responsibility in the workplace, having an external trainer come in to deliver sessions at your workplace can be a cost-effective and engaging way to impart knowledge and deliver training.
At the end of the day, Health and Safety is there for a reason; it protects your employees, safeguards your business, and protects your client/company relations and reputation.
If you’d like to know a little more about training sessions that can be delivered for your staff or ways to better engage your employees with good Health and Safety practices around the workplace, feel free to get in touch – we’d welcome a conversation with you.