According to the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the bare minimum an employer must do for their the employees is to protect and safeguard employees from harm. This manifests in lots of different ways and can depend on a number of things; the size of your business, the level of risk in the tasks that your employees are required to do, the environment you're working in.
The HSE has identified the three steps you must do;
- identify what could cause risk or harm in your workplace - find the hazard.
- decide how likely it is that someone may be harmed, and how seriously that could be - identify the risk.
- and then take action to eliminate the hazard, or if that isn't possible, control the risk - take action.
These three steps are the key to achieving better safety in your workplace, and if following them is the absolute minimum, how can we improve?
Asking questions is a good start, to ourselves and to our employees. What difficulties are they coming up against when implementing health and safety in their daily work lives? How can we improve these?
Some things aren't always possible to change, masks, for example, may be irritating but completely necessary for safety. But if we can ask these questions, go above and beyond the basic protocol, we may also be safeguarding our employees' comfort and even happiness at work.
Some questions to ask;
- how do you feel wearing that?
- is there anything we are not safeguarding against when performing that task?
- what risks do you see?
- how often do you need to change that?
- what would make this better for you?
- how can this be safer?
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