The risks of dangerous work environments are real. Too often, companies are found to be liable for the personal injury of an employee who has had an accident.
Reducing the level of risk in your workplace comes down to identifying the hazards, evaluating what harm they could cause and taking the appropriate action to prevent this happening.
Assessing your firm’s risk
Risk is something companies are legally obliged to consider. Companies with five employees or more are required to have a written risk assessment. However, that doesn’t mean smaller businesses shouldn’t conduct these assessments.
An appropriate risk assessment is the first step to reducing the number of hazards in your workplace. You need to work out what might present risk to employees, such as machinery and chemicals. However, there are also hidden risks in your workplace. Poor air quality and high levels of surface bacteria are just some examples.
Think carefully about all of the hazards that may be present in your work environment and then make sure to deal with them properly. There’s little benefit in knowing what the hazards are without addressing them and reducing the potential threat they pose to workers.
Investing in first aid
It’s almost impossible to completely eliminate the risks present in a workplace. This means you need to have the appropriate safety net in place. Training up some of your workforce to administer first aid does that.
Ensuring you have a sufficient number of first aiders at work shows that your business cares about staff members and their health in case of a healthcare emergency. You can further that positive feeling amongst your workforce by turning the training session into a team-building exercise.
Request volunteers to attend the training and become qualified first aiders. This will go down better with your team members than deciding yourself who will attend.
Ask your team
Consult with your employees about what they see as hazards and how you can reduce the risk they present. They’re the ones who deal with these hazards every day and will therefore have the clearest idea of what should be addressed.
Consider running a few sessions in which everyone can have their say about what they think should be included in your risk assessment and what they’d like changed in the workplace. You could alternatively send an online poll or form to gather opinions.
Giving your workforce a say about your company’s risk level shows that you’re serious about their health and safety. This should have the benefit of boosting morale and keeping your teams motivated and confident to perform their roles to the best of their ability.
Identifying risk to reduce it
When it comes to keeping everyone in your workplace safe, a collaborative approach can be the best course of action. When everyone puts their heads together, there’s a better chance of the most dangerous hazards being identified.
It also gives your business a good chance of pinpointing those more subtle hazards and establishing a plan to address them.