Health and Safety File Template: How to Reduce Site Accidents

Health and Safety File Template

It would be hard to make a safety file without having a safety file template to follow. It is required by the law that a company provides this file for its employees, as well as those people who would inspect properties in a workplace. The approach needed to be able to address safety and health issues would also have to be explained in the safety file.

First of all, what are the objectives of the safety file? Besides being required by the law, companies make a safety file in order to minimize the risks that every single job in the office could pose. There is a considerable amount of threat in any office, including compromised computer systems. Visitors as well as clients should also follow the guidelines that are presented to them. A good template might also help develop a safety file that could increase the productivity in the workplace, reduce accidents and damages to people, properties, products and reputation.

A health and safety file template is helpful, not only for starting companies, but for also those who might need a revamp in the area. There are so many rules to set, and the bigger a company gets, the more there is a need for rules. Some accidents could also be prevented by proper training, and a safety file would need to include the trainings that a person should have prior to doing a job. All of this and more are what makes up a safety file.

How to Reduce Site Accidents with a Safety Plan

How do you reduce site accidents with a safety plan? It has been said that little knowledge could be dangerous. Information is the key to understanding, and therefore the key to making everything else safe.

Site accidents happen for two reasons: the first is ignorance and the second is violation. Sometimes, ignorance could be much deadlier than violation. Knowing what you must do and choosing not to do it is less deadly than thinking that you are doing the right thing when you, in fact, do not. If you want to make sure that your employees are protected from the dangers of ignorance, it would be better that you produce a safety plan.

If you are to reduce site accidents with a safety plan, you need to make sure that your employees know about it. Safety plans are meant to be discussed, not locked safely away in a drawer where no one would be able to read it. Safety in the workplace is all about knowing your place and knowing what to do with it.

There is a good reason that employees have their jobs described, and this is all in trust that one would keep to his job while other employees keep to theirs. If a job has certain hazards, the person who does not normally do the job may not be aware of the accidents and the risks that they would be vulnerable to. If you want to reduce site accidents with a safety plan, it is always better to instill trust and knowledge to your employees.

Health and Safety Policy Template: A Useful Tool for Businesses

Many business owners may not know yet but the law requires companies with at least five or more employees to develop a written health and safety policy, and to effectively enforce it in their workplace. No matter how small an enterprise may be, health and safety should be a priority in the office and job site. This is not only for the welfare of the employees, but for the company’s customers and clients as well.

If such small companies are already required to submit these types of policies, all the more should large-scale businesses take health and safety policies seriously. Such big businesses would include those in the construction, engineering, mining, petrochemical, and manufacturing industries, and the like. These businesses have extra high levels of occupational hazards and risks, owing to the presence and operation of heavy equipment, as well as due to the substantial number of employees and workers.

Businesses should not worry about developing their own policies because there are many templates available on the Internet.

These templates would outline the basic information that policies should cover. Here is a sample outline of points that a document should cover:

– Health and safety policy statement: a general declaration of the company’s safety goals and commitment

– Areas of responsibility: on a daily and overall basis, as well covering general and specific areas of operation

– Health and safety risks: the imminent dangers inherent to the specific workplace, in order effectively warn workers and employees

– Guidelines on a safe plant and equipment: maintaining the site, operating equipment within it, etc.

– Safe handling and use of substances and chemicals: guidelines on the proper handling, storage, and disposal of substances, especially hazardous ones

– First aid and ill health: steps to strictly follow in case of emergency, injuries, or accidents

These are just some of the many items that a document should cover. Business owners should remember that a template needs to be tweaked to their specific needs, requirements, and work circumstances.

A template is a great tool to work with, but it needs to be customized according to a specific business’s operating procedures and line of work. A template by itself cannot be used and passed off as an actual health and safety policy document. It should just be used as a starting point for a company to develop its own unique health and safety document.

Check out the following links to get hold of a template that you can easily amend to suit your business.

Health and Safety Advice and the Use of Management Systems

After years of using different stand alone PC based software for HS&E management and ultimately getting frustrated (obviously I am being polite here) I managed to persuade the board of Directors that we want a system that can help Achieve:

• BS 8800:2004 (Health and Safety Management Guidance Standard)
• BS EN ISO 9001:2000, (Quality Management standard)
• BS EN ISO 14001:2004 (Environmental Management standard)
• BS OSHAS 18001:2007 (Occupational Health and Safety Management standard)
• ILO OSH: 2001 (Guidelines on Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems)
• CIA Responsible Care Management System Framework

Now it is not a small task to plan and implement all of the above systems that are required to help achieve good health safety and environmental practices, risk assessments, actions, training etc.

It took a while to get the board of directors on side, however I did get them on side (The most important part of a health and safety adviser role… Give excellent Health and Safety Advice that improves the business and its bottom line).

I talked with the IT department who told me it would take three programmers at least three years to do what I wanted. “Wow I did not think it was that complicated,” so, with the help of the IT director we brought in a number of system providers, seven to be precise, two of which came out looking good. I then ran a trial for a full six months. Yes you got it… six months on two fast production manufacturing sites, and do you know what I was amazed at? The reduction in incidents. This was due to the concentrated efforts of the management utilizing the health and safety management system. One of the sites, our worst performing site for the past three years, went into second place. Running with the system made a cost saving at site of approx 400k. Now that is good, however now I needed to put the system into 7 other sites within a year it was a big job but the company who provided the system were excellent, they employed HS&E professionals who understood the operational requirements and the practical implementation of Health Safety and Environmental Systems.

There is one thing you must take into consideration, do not be fooled by the basic systems and the added value systems designed for something else other than Health Safety and the Environment. They are out there in abundance. Do your due diligence and purchase, lease or hire the one that makes the difference.

Workspace Health and Safety Lifting

You will find that there are various organizations which stress on workplace health and safety. In many countries you will see that there are strict laws for this. Now there should be safety in the work place not only for the legal aspect and for abiding by the law, it is quite important too apart from that.

If you want to live a long and a healthy life then you will have to maintain practices which are good and also healthy. So if you want your business to have a long and a healthy life then you will have to abide by practices which are safe and healthy.

Now you need to know why you need a good health in the workspace so here are the reasons.

First of all you need to have an environment where all of your visitors and even the employees feel safe. If they don’t feel so then they won’t be able to perform the task they have to and they will hesitate when it comes to doing things. If your employees see that the work place where they are going to safe and are healthy then they will want to go to work.

If it is not, you will find that most of your employees don’t turn up or you are losing out on a lot of clients. Sometimes you will even find that employees will quite after working with your company for a while.

If you make an environment which is safe then you will see that your workers are no longer scared of coming to work and you will reduce the amount of absentees. You will also find that business will start to pick up. So, having a good workplace health can actually help you in a lot of ways.

Now if your employees see that you are taking measure and going out of your way to protect them they are going to notice that and they will feel grateful for that and hence they will try and work harder. So the entire thing is like a little chain reaction. If your employees see that you don’t care about them then you won’t get any sort of productive work from them at all.

So if you want your company to shine then you must make sure that there is safety in the work place. After all the employees is one of the most important things in your business. Without them you are going to get nowhere so you must make sure that they feel safe and comfortable enough so that they can work for you. All you need to do for this is change a few policies keeping the safety of your employees in mind.

Selecting a Health and Safety Consultant

Many small businesses reach a point in their growth when the need for health and safety advice becomes important. The reasons vary – it may be the company reaches certain critical points that trigger legislative requirements, the owner/manager simply no longer has the time due to the general growth of the business or simply because as the company grows health and safety questions become more complex. Another factor that I’ve noticed in recent years is large companies requiring more in depth safety management systems from even the smallest supplier as part of an attempt to minimise their own liabilities as part of their contractor vetting programme.

Within the UK – companies with 5 employees need to start recording risk assessments and require health and safety policies but even without legislation most companies reach a point where they accept a need for professional safety advice. Now that point may simply be when they reach a point of needing safety documents or it may come a few years later as the company grows and safety needs become more complex than the management are immediately comfortable with.

As we travel around the globe we find different laws, different levels of professionalism and varying qualifications are linked to health and safety. For small companies attempting to locate their first health and safety consultant it can be an expensive mistake if the wrong Consultancy is employed. So how do you get the decision right first time?

Competence and Qualifications – Whilst exams and certificates aren’t the only factor they tend to be a good starting point. In recent years “safety consultants” have grown like mould – unfortunately many are seriously lacking in any formal qualification and others have the paper but little real world experience. The term health and safety consultant is not “protected” in any of the industrial nations thus too many people with a new business card and website appear as experts – but all too often they have little by way of qualifications and/or experience. Every country has its own qualifications but do check and find out what those qualifications are. In the UK – IOSH is the largest professional body and there is a national register of safety consultants run in partnership with the government and HSE; This requires the consultants to be fully qualified (the register has an equivalency scheme between the main safety institutes so regardless of where they became qualified you can rest assured they are qualified).

Experience: Alongside qualification it’s another must have. Fresh faced 20 somethings fresh out of college with a degree in safety may have a bright future but with little experience their value as a consultant can be limited. Traditionally good consultants learnt their trade somewhere in a full time role – how to find the right compromise, how to make safety work in the real world – and received support from more experienced colleagues whilst they made their own mistakes.

Sector Knowledge – It’s always helpful when the consultant can speak about your industry from the beginning – but equally a good consultant has seen a wide variety of workplaces over the years and can quickly apply the basic principles to any company. More important than immediate experience of your industry is whether they grasp the basic principles of your business quickly. To me whilst you always learn things in new business and sectors a lot of knowledge is transferable – machine guarding is common regardless of whats being processed.

Fear – the moment a consultant uses fear to sell walk away. Anyone who talks about jail, fines as the only justification for using them is struggling. Yes we all know the law is part of the reason you’re looking for a safety professional but any body can quote law – a good safety advisor will lead you through a broader set of reasons that include law but not in isolation – people not getting hurt being the principle factor to start from.

Cost: Don’t be misled by low day rates, cheap initial safety audits – it’s not what you pay per hour that matters it’s what you get for your money that matters. The old sales technique of getting your foot in the door with an offer and then upselling is just as common in safety as elsewhere.

Two Way Conversations – a good consultant will talk to you before starting or even quoting. I like to know what a client thinks they need, how they view where they’re at and how much budget there is as typical starting points. Every client is different – every client has unique challenges and solutions. Whilst budgets need to be flexible; a good consultant will look to find a way to maximise your spend in terms of outputs and solutions for your business.

Like – it’s a weird word for business – but “do I like or at least respect the consultant?” is key. If you understand what they say – they understand you and attempt to make any advice fit into your business then it’s a good beginning. You need to work with them so make sure thats possible before making your selection.

Initial Documents – this is where you really can tell if you’ve made the right choice – it may not be ideal but if you’re unhappy now then things will only get worse as time passes. Things to be wary of – if documents look like they’ve been cut and paste they probably have (safety reports and safety policies are the worst offenders); if you don’t really understand the work because its written in legalese (or just endless warnings of jail and fines) then it’s time to re consider because the chances are that it will end up destined to be unread; equally if there’s no attempt to understand business pressures and needs then again it may be time to get a second opinion. A quick test I always use is to simply do a word search in Word or whatever software you use. Think of typical words that are key to your business and see if they exist (for example working for a car repair workshop – check words like vehicle repair, ramp, oil – dumb I know but when none show up bar the most general sense than its a generic policy).

If you find the right safety consultant they’ll work with you to make your workplace safer and it should feel like everyone’s got the same goals – get the right consultant and it can be a relationship that grows with your business. Nothing lasts forever and everything has its own lifespan – but long relations mean they remember the past, remember where you came from and best of all develop relationships with you and your staff – and relationships are key to most things at the end of the day.

But in summary ensure they are competent, will deliver and you feel you can develop a “relationship” with – or at the very least they can solve you immediate needs.

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