Every business will have risks and workplace hazards. The type of risks will depend on the kind of business you run. Regardless of the risks that are present at your workplace, the most important thing is to identify them, and have a plan in place to deal with them.
Let’s look at how you might do that at your workplace.
Manage Workplace Hazards With These 4 Steps
Step One: Identify
You can’t protect workers from a risk if you don’t even know what that risk is. So the first thing you will need to do is identify the specific risks at your workplace. When identifying these risks, you need to be thorough. Consider the following things:
- Walk around your workplace and consider the things that could seriously hurt your team members, or visitors to your site.
- Don’t just look at things that can affect people in the here and now. Take into account the risks that can occur over a long period of time – like exposure to a certain substance, or the time of day the worker is expected to work.
- Consider if any of your employees are particularly vulnerable – are they young, or old, or if their physical health is compromised.
- Look at hazards that could develop in the future
- Look at your processes, the equipment you use and the activities your workers need to perform
- Engage with your readers to get their opinion on the risks associated with their role
Once you have identified your risks, you need to assess how to control them. Make a prioritised list of the most dangerous, down to the least dangerous activities. Do this by looking at the consequences of being exposed to each risk – will they potentially cause harm, injury, or even death (even in an extreme situation).
Then look at how likely the risk is to occur. You will then be able to compile and prioritise your risk list.
Step Two: Minimise
Once you know what the risks are, you then need to work out how you can deal with them. Go through your list and see if there are any risks you can eliminate completely by removing a hazard, for example replacing faulty items, or changing a process.
Once you have eliminated all you can, it is time to work out how to minimise the rest. You will want to deal with all of the risks in time, but the first risks to focus on are the ones that present the highest level of risk to your team and any visitors. Once you have managed the ones that are likely to cause death or harm, then you can begin to tackle the rest.
It is really important to keep an open flow of communication to your workers while you are going through the risk management process. They are the ones on the ground, likely needing to change some processes to ensure safety.
Here are some things to consider when deciding how you can minimise your workplace hazards:
- Look at your current processes for risk management and if they need updating or changing. Just because you have always done it one way does not mean that is the best way.
- Engage with your team for feedback on risk management
- Ensure that you meet any legal requirements when putting your risk management plan in place
- Seek a specialist outside opinion to ensure you have met all requirements. Here at Cloud My Staff we are only too happy to help with this process. You can contact us here.
- Think about the most practical way to deal with a risk and ensure you aren’t creating new risks with your management solution.
Once you have your risk management plans in place, then it is vital to publish them and get your team members up to speed on them. Make sure that the communication is done appropriately for your workplace, and all team members can understand.
Step 3: Monitor
There is no point putting a risk management plan in place if you aren’t going to monitor that it is being implemented and is working well. The safety practices should be part of the daily running of your business, and everyone should abide by them.
Here are some ideas on how to monitor them:
- Initial training session with all team members
- Regular refresher trainings
- Checklists to follow
- Hard copies of the procedures placed in danger areas
- Requesting worker feedback
- Independent reviews (Cloud My Staff can help you with these)
- Technology that helps you monitor systems, machinery and care of dangerous substances
- Comprehensive records
Step 4: Review
It is vital that you review your risk management plans to ensure they are working as expected. Tweak your plans and processes until you have an appropriate solution for your individual business.
Implement a structured review process every 3-6 months to check that the processes are still working. Sometimes day to day tasks change, new risks arise, or a new employee will have a different approach. If you do not review your systems regularly then you can’t guarantee your workplace hazards will remain in check.
If you need help with any aspect of your workplace safety, then Cloud My Staff are available for you. Whether you need help with identifying your risks, coming up with a plan to minimise your workplace hazards, reviewing the systems you have put in place, or assessing that everything is running as safely as it should – then we are here to help.
Get in touch today!