Workplace Safety Tips

Workplace Safety in Australia is now one of the top ten issues at boardroom level. So it should be very important at your place of work too. Use this checklist of 8 great ideas from Safety Concepts to help you when creating or improving your own safety culture:

  1. Conduct regular audits of the workplace to ensure the controls you have put in place to stop injury or harm is in fact working. An audit will also identify any new safety hazards that have been created by new work methods or change to the work environment. Use an external expert to conduct the audit to ensure you have an independent view of what the workplace is really like.
  2. Make it a requirement that all new employees attend a safety induction that trains them in how to work safely and productively. Use the safety induction to explain safety signs and no-go zones to employees and spend time working through all company safety policies.
  3. Maintain a system for reporting incidents and encourage the use of this system. Make sure people see it as a useful tool to improve safety rather than a performance measure that could lead to disciplinary action. If it is seen as a positive thing to do then employees will use it and the business will benefit.
  4. Use systems and engineering solutions wherever possible to prevent injury or exposure to a hazard. Relying on people to use personal protective equipment is second best to removing the need for such equipment. The correct use of safety equipment is hard to police and puts the responsibility back on management to ensure it is worn all the time and correctly. Getting rid of the hazard is a much better way to prevent the exposure in the first place.  
  5. Remember that your employees want to work safely too. Many workplace safety programs appear to be based on the idea that left to their own devices employees almost want to get hurt and will stick their hand in the machine given the chance. Change the way you motivate others to pursue safety by enlisting their help and involving all employees in making the workplace safer. 
  6. Make sure all employees know the right way to do the job or task. Don’t leave them a list of things that they should not do, put in place the required training systems and ensure safety instructions are written into every job procedure. 
  7. Regularly review what the job or task looks like. If you spend time revisiting or getting to know the work your employees do it is likely you will discover changes. The job might be done differently by different people, or the task has changed but the safety procedures have not. A regular review of job design and procedure built into the operations of the workplace and conducted by the person doing the job together with a safety representative will take little time but will pay off in a big way. 
  8. Maintain a clean environment and keep all machinery in good working order. We often hear that workers get themselves into dangerous situations by having to compensate for a machine that has a defect or wear. This is especially so in the case of wear, because it may have occurred so gradually that they think it is normal. A strong preventive maintenance program makes for a strong safety program.

About the Author

Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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