January 28, 2015

Let’s make a safety New Year’s resolution

We’ve all done it… “It’s New Year, it’s time to start going to the gym, start an academic course and stop smoking.”

People may have good intentions at New Year but they often fail to take action. So how can a review of your Health and Safety in 2015 be an action more than a good intention?

A good place to start, but not a very pleasant one, is the accident book:

What happened and how did it occur? What have we done to prevent it happening again and has it been put in to practice?

There may not have been any accidents or near miss incidents to report…” good news”. Good health and safety performance should be celebrated at all levels in the company to achieve no injuries or work related ill health, health and safety risks need to be controlled.

But good news should not stop us looking at the rest of your health and safety arrangements including your consultancy arrangements:

You have a health and safety policy when did you last read it?

Resolution 1

Read the policy

Make notes of any changes / updates that need to be included examine whether the health and safety policy reflects the organisation’s current priorities, plans and targets where you may have concerns consult Moorepay H&S.

Risk assessments

When did you last look at what these actually state, do they really control the risk that they were written for, have your working arrangements changed since they were written…this may seem a daunting task but it should be done.

Resolution 2

Review risk assessments to ensure suitable for purpose where you may find areas of concern or doubt examine whether risk controls  and other health and safety systems have been effectively reported to management also  consult  Moorepay  H&S.

Training can often be taken for granted, refresher training for some is compulsory while cost is often the main barrier to training.

Companies can benefit from refresher training of managers / staff doing the same job the same old way is not always the most productive; refresher training can improve productivity it can also give staff a better understanding of the role they have in the company and in implementing Health and safety.

Resolution 3

Review training records, remember some refresher training is compulsory;  carry out training needs analysis with a limit budget look to where the need is most.  Consult with Moorepay to help you identify what training can be arranged.

Plant / equipment = Review working at height equipment this is a opportune time to carry out inspection of ladders / steps  and where you have  mobile elevated working platforms(MEWPs) ensure that a through inspection  (including training ) is carried out.

Some additional areas where you may need to carry out reviews include:

  • Manual handling;
  • Forklift truck lifting equipment;
  • All workshops engineering plant / guarding;
  • First aid;
  • Fire arrangements;
  • Hand held / vibrating equipment.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means so consider prioritising areas of high risk to your organisation and where you may need to carry out changes / updates to comply with legislation. Develop a check list of concerns and consult with Moorepay H&S for help.

The positive side of any Health and Safety audit / review is that it gives you an insight into where the company needs to be in relation to ‘HSG65: Plan Do Act Check’; no matter what your industry, size or nature, the main elements for health and safety updating / review ensures you are better placed to identify areas that may need improving.

Performance on health and safety and wellbeing is increasingly being recorded in companies where necessary a ‘shop floor’ visit is completed, to gather information for the formal review.

  • Leadership and management
  • Trained competent, skilled, labour  force
  • A place of work where people are involved and consulted on health and safety

We hope you’ve enjoyed the articles we’ve published over the last year. If have any feedback , please contact Moorepay H&S.

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About the author

Eamon Griffin