How to ensure employees follow health and safety procedures
and are happy, healthy and productive in the workplace!
As an employer, you are responsible for ensuring your employees stay safe while working at height. Providing adequate training is a significant part of that, as are producing health and safety procedures and supplying the correct tools and safety equipment. But, none of those makes a difference if your employees are not on board and working safely. If you’re finding it a challenge, here’s five ways to ensure your employees follow health and safety procedures and work at height in a safe way.
Create a safe working environment
Making the work environment conducive to safety is the first step to keeping your employees safe. Provide all the equipment they need to complete the job as safely as possible and make sure they have the training to use it. Reduce risk in the work area by putting, for example, traffic restrictions and exclusion zones in place and look after employee mental health – accidents are more likely to happen if workers are stressed or distracted. Create comfortable break areas, avoid extra-long shifts, and listen if employees come to you with questions or problems.
If you want employees to follow your health and safety procedures, you need to tell them what they are! Communicate your expectations clearly and provide easy access to all protocols, procedures, and risk assessments. Making instructions and restrictions clear will stop misunderstandings from occurring and ensure everyone knows what they are meant to be doing when. If changes occur, let everyone know.
If you find employees are consistently not following your health and safety procedures, ask them why; it may be something you can fix. For example, if they are not wearing harnesses because they are uncomfortable, can you find a way of making them more comfortable to wear? If it’s a misunderstanding, can you provide extra training or more precise instructions? The more you engage; the more likely employees are to follow your safety procedures.
Review, update, and reward
Review your procedures regularly and revise as necessary to suit employees and the ever-changing working environment. Monitor what is happening in your workplace and chase up, retrain, or reward individuals as required. Showing gratitude for consistently high standards of work and safety can act as an incentive to others.
Lead by example
If you want your employees to follow health and safety procedures, make sure you do so yourself. If they see you cutting corners, they are more likely to do so themselves. That includes supervisors; get them on board and make sure they are setting a strong example to everyone else.