Here are some tips to simplify the due diligence process and implement a health and safety system
1. It Must Come From the Top!
When an employee is injured many companies don’t realize that a failure to act rests on the shoulders of all involved. That means directors and officers also have a responsibility to ensure the proper steps were taken to prevent the accident, and the appropriate resources were provided.
With management involved, it will be much easier to get employees on board. Because most people want to work in a safe environment, they can help identify potential health and safety risks and make suggestions for procedures that management might not typically catch.
Just because nothing has gone wrong in the past doesn’t mean nothing ever will. Yet, many companies still rely on their senior employees to spread the word about health and safety procedures.
It is important to have health and safety procedures properly documented, and easily accessible to all employees. Not only will this ensure everyone is taking the appropriate safety precautions, but it will serve as proof of the company’s due diligence if something were to happen.
3. Action Plan!
If you don’t have formal health and safety procedures in place, start with the basics.
“See which legal requirements apply to you and learn about what your minimal requirements are. Develop a plan that’s pertinent to your business and break it into simple steps. The most important thing is to get the process started.”
Hire a third-party consultant to help you launch your health and safety program if you’re feeling overwhelmed. These companies can help you focus on the most important first steps.
It’s important to ensure all your supervisors have the appropriate certification and training required for your particular work environment. Refresher courses should be offered as required, or as the workplace changes. All employees should also be trained on the equipment they will be using, as well as introduced to the company’s health and safety procedures and this includes temporary employees.
5. Safety Infraction Disciplining!
Discipline is an important aspect of any company’s worker safety due diligence practices. Not only does it set the tone and enforce proper workplace behaviour, but it shows that breaking the rules is not tolerated. This is something that will be vital in the company’s defence if an employee is injured because he or she broke the rules.
It’s important, then, to have a solid disciplinary procedure in place, that includes verbal warnings, written warnings, suspensions and discharges.
6. Appoint a Health and Safety Committee.
A designated health and safety committee, that is made up of both management and employees, will ensure that all health and safety-related matters are addressed on a regular basis. This committee should be responsible for ensuring an accident response system is in place, and for conducting internal response investigations after accidents occur. It should also stay abreast of any changes in the workplace, as well as the addition of potential hazards.