It’s a scary fact but 317 million accidents occur on the job annually, according to the International Labour Organisation. If work safety has never been a priority in your small business, it’s time to put it on the list now. Investing time and money into work safety can save you future headaches. It’s easier than you think and we have some guidelines we’d like to share to help you minimise the risks.
Play spot the hazard
Manage risks by identifying any hazards. Hazards are essentially sources that could cause harm to your fieldworkers. Hazards you might identify include tools and equipment that might cause cuts or an abrasion; or hazardous materials such as chlorine, which might irritate the skin. Once you have identified the hazards, it’s important to organise a plan for control. How will you minimise the risks associated with the hazard?
It’s also a good idea to get your staff involved to help you identify any hazards – after all, they probably know best considering they deal with hazards on a day to day basis.
Teaching your fieldworkers safe work practices is a great way to prevent accidents. This may be a quick 5 minute training session at the end of the day or a full day of training on site.
When you hire new staff, implementing safety training during the induction is necessary. You want to show your new staff that you are serious about work safety and minimising harm.
Get your fieldworkers involved!
Make it clear that everyone is responsible for ensuring a safe work environment. Considering you aren’t out on site supervising your fieldworkers, train them to complete safety inspections as part of their job. Listen to their feedback. If a piece of equipment needs repairing, get it fixed.
There are plenty of resources out there to help you manage work safety. Check out the website of your industry trade association or union. These organisations promote health and safety to decrease the risk of injury and stress in the workplace. They often have resources available such as fact sheets and checklists, which will save you time from creating your own.
Don’t just say it, do it! Developing safety goals and systems are only worthwhile if you practice them. By continually reinforcing the importance of safety to your staff, it is more likely that they will endorse safety. Ask your fieldworker about the safety of the job he just completed. What did he discover when he completed a safety inspection? In fact, with Connect2Field you can attach a safety inspection form to the jobs you assign your staff. This makes it easier for you to manage work safety.
Your fieldworkers are valuable assets in your business. Their health and safety is particularly important. Remember an injured staff member requiring time off work will affect your business operation. Will your business be able to cope with the demand of jobs if one staff member is absent due to a work injury? Avoid such a situation by taking a few preventative measures instead!