6 Aspects to Boost H&S Compliance
Whether you're responsible for a small-scale construction project or employ thousands of contractors, strict compliance measures are imperative. While most companies have some sort of health and safety program in place, there are few who know how to manage it effectively. The stats for 2019 show that a minimum of 100 worker fatalities occurred per week, in the US alone.
If you don't manage safety compliance correctly, it's not only the company's reputation that's at risk – it's also workers' health and wellbeing.
H&S rules and guidelines need to be implemented in all areas of health, safety and occupational practices, including the way employees interact with their environment. Achieving compliance across all projects ensures your employees continue to work in a safe environment while helping you avoid fines, compensation claims and low morale.
Effective health and safety requires a comprehensive strategy that includes transparency, communication, and comprehensive visibility.
Just like with other risk management techniques, there are steps you can take to improve your organization's health and safety compliance. Take a look at these 6 aspects that can either make, or break your workplace H&S. Without one of the below implemented, your health and safety is at risk.
1. Policy and Process
A health and safety policy is a document that outlines the major health and safety issues that affect companies in your industry. It forms a detailed map of what you have decided is important in order to protect yourself from legal risks in the area of health and safety. A policy will help you implement a clear framework for your key stakeholders to work within, ensuring clearer accountability and improved results.
While it's all good and well to have a dedicated policy in place, you need a sound process to follow to ensure correct implementation and oversee the entire health and safety program.
Create a process, where all necessary activities are listed and described,. Identify their aims, delegate responsibilities and outline the activities needed.
2. Make Delegation a Key Component of the Process
Becoming overloaded and overwhelmed is too easy if all health and safety aspects rest on one person's shoulders. Prevention starts to slip as all the time and resources are funneled into dealing with incidents and not proactive safety measures.
Having specific people assigned to various aspects and tasks of your health and safety program helps to share the load and responsibilities. It can also keep individuals accountable for missed training, scheduling issues, and hazard reporting, amongst others. But, the trick with this is to have a software that can manage all the reports and documentation from each person- an online platform is the best way to manage health and safety if you have various people in charge of different aspects.
3. Frequent Reviews, Risk Assessments and Inspections
A risk assessment can help you identify any good practices you have in place as well as any areas where improvements could be made to help you run a safer business, manage risk better and comply with health and safety laws. By carrying out a risk assessment, your company will provide a safe and healthy workplace for its employees and others, reduce accidents and insurance premiums, and protect itself from claims of negligence.
Risk assessments help you to identify, evaluate and control specific health and safety hazards in your workplace. A properly conducted risk assessment provides the information necessary to formulate the correct safety measures for you to take to ensure that your employees are not at risk of serious harm or injury. It allows you to identify specific areas of your business where there may be potential risks, and how they can be improved. Once you've completed your risk assessment, your next step will be basic hazard controls.
Periodic Inspections and Reviews
Once a month, once every six months or even annually, a workplace needs a retrospective of anything that may have changed, any new projects that have been implemented, and a build-up of the current safety standards being used in the site. Organizing periodic site audits can let you spot any irregularities before they develop into a major problem. This check helps to ensure that policies, procedures and guidelines are still effective on the ground.
4. Third Party Evaluation
Have a health and safety specialist from the outside take a look and evaluate your current situation. Taking a close look at your company's health and safety compliance situation is an excellent way to ensure that you are on the right track - or to identify areas where improvements can be made. Their report will help you evaluate your current compliance position, identify the strengths of your program, and focus on making improvements in areas where more effort will have the biggest impact on risk reduction.
5. Leverage Automation
Automation is an essential component in health and safety operations. Automation of tasks, procedures and reminders for training reduces the risk of injury and safety issues. Automation helps to reduce manual errors as well.
Automate as much as possible: training, scheduling, tasks and procedures. Automation frees up your time, so you can focus on talking to your employees and being proactive about prevention.
What’s more, automation can be an essential player in emergencies. If there's a problem, the system will notify the supervisor. Response rates of less than three minutes can reduce property damage by as much as 50 % and save lives. Should an emergency occur, the supervisor can see via an on-screen display where it is occurring. The screen shows the source of the problem, provides information on how to fix it, and plots out an effective course of action to eliminate or contain the situation.
6. Use a Software That Can Fulfill All the Tasks Mentioned Above
Rising out of the humble roots of a spreadsheet, there are health and safety software's to make safety simple. Use software to ensure you always know what is going on in your health and safety operations. There are many documents in the workplace that are required to be readily available in case of an emergency and a Health & Safety software allows you to keep all of these documents in one central location, allowing your business to be better prepared in the unfortunate event of an accident.
VITS is the brainchild of occupational health and safety specialists who have spent years helping businesses understand their legal requirements, develop effective health and safety management systems, and stay compliant.
How VITS Benefits & Boosts Your Business’s Compliance
VITS is an easy-to-use system that simplifies health and safety for companies by providing an online platform for recording, monitoring and improving workplace conditions.
Our focus is on providing an easy to use software which streamlines the management of all your Health & Safety Data, allowing you to get the most out of your HSE information. It is designed to easily integrate with any existing IT infrastructure and can be adapted to meet varying organizational needs.
VITS streamlines the entire occupational health and safety management process by enabling you to oversee your entire OHSMS strategy while reducing the burden on your staff. Whether yours is an existing system or just in need of some fine tuning, contact the team to see how we can benefit your business.
VITS is the health and safety tool that will help you work smarter...not harder.