An informal health and safety program is for those companies that wish to have their workplaces safe. Formal programs are for those companies required by law. Informal programs are strictly voluntary and are for companies that might not have enough employees to have a formal plan. The insurance industry states that those companies that have informal programs in place have 50 percent less claims reported. Great cost savings will be seen in having a program in place. (20 to 40 percent just in premiums) |
The making of a health and safety program begins with a policy statement. This statement will lay the foundation for the program; it states values and commitments of the business to its employees and customers. It should be signed and posted. The second step is to set-up rules and procedures. These rules will state how processes should be followed, what equipment is needed, and what potential hazards exist. Once these rules have been written, orientation should be given to existing employees, new employees, and even to outside contractors of the business. Instruction should also be given in the correct way of using the necessary safety equipment to be used in the process. Where an extra skill is required, training should take place such as in fall arrest equipment.
Workplace inspections are an excellent way of assuring the health and safety program is current. Through the workplace inspection, dangerous trends can be identified and corrected such as a fire exit constantly being blocked.
If accident does occur there should be an investigation process in place. Investigations of accidents and even near misses (event where an accident almost occurred with no injury) should determine the cause and a conclusion on how the cause must be found.
Short monthly meetings will keep employees involved. Concerns can be voiced and solutions offered. Post a brief record of the meeting on the employee board to ensure all employees know what was discussed.
Keep a record of first aid supplies, inspection reports, accident and near misses reports, monthly meetings, employee orientation, and training records. These records will tell a story of the business' health and safety program.
Successful health and safety programs will have small business owners lead by example and set reasonable health and safety goals and objectives.
Related Articles -
Health, safety, UK, Health and safety, Health and safety services,