Managing work health and safety risks
What is work health and safety? This isn’t a factory; it’s an office and the worst that can happen is falling off our swivel chair.
Not so, even something as simple as falling off a chair or slipping in a recently mopped office aisle can send your profit into a tailspin if your employee seeks compensation.
Managing work health and safety (WHS) can be a total nightmare for organisations. Your business, be it dealing in billions or a few thousand bucks, is no different.
Your employees or workers may be exposed to a range of risks ranging from physical injuries like broken bones, sprains, back injuries or even physiological injuries like anxiety, stress or depression. It is vital to manage risks when it comes to work health and safety. Why? Because employees don’t need to take their grievance through legitimate channels anymore; they can go straight to Twitter or Facebook and do your company image irreparable harm.
So aside from keeping your workers safe in the more traditional ways, workplace health and safety has to be something your employees can’t meddle with.
Here are some basic guidelines to help you do just that.
How to promote health and safety at work?
Well, promoting health and safety at work starts with consultation; consultation with managers, health and safety representatives and workers. The aim of this is to fully assess the health and safety risks facing your business, highlighting every hazard or potential hazard before it becomes an issue.
By calling on everyone from the ground up to participate in this process, you can draw on the experience and knowledge of people right at the coal face. As a result, hazards you weren’t even aware of can be unearthed and examined.
How to manage work health and safety risks?
This is the tricky part but can be managed efficiently in these few steps.
- Identify all the health and safety risks across every facet of your business
- Next, assess each on its merits – or rather, its potential for disaster
- Ask yourself these questions - How severe is the risk? What’s being done right now to minimise the associated dangers? What else can be done? How urgently does this need to take place?
- Once you’ve assessed all your risks, prioritise and work on a systematic risk management plan for each risk
- Remember, the best way to control a risk is to eliminate it. Can that be done? Are there other ways to perform the same function that involve no risk at all? If not, implement whatever measures are necessary to manage and control the risk.
- Once all your risk management controls are on place, reassess and reconfigure everything on a regular basis.
Eliminate all the risks and ensure the safety of your employees to create a happy and healthy workforce.