Health and safety are a primary concern in almost any work place. Although workplace safety procedures vary from place to place, there are certain universal health and safety guidelines that you should follow. I have been a health safety compliance expert for years, and have studied this in detail. The thing that matters most isn’t whether this or that rule is in place, but whether there is a culture of safety in the workplace. If safety and health guidelines are respected and put above everything else, people won’t get hurt. If, on the other hand, people take a lax attitude towards environmental safety, accidents will happen – sometimes with tragic results.
The most important thing is to keep health safety guidelines in the forefront of company concerns. This means that you don’t only deal with health and safety issues once a year when you are getting accreditation reviews by the government. You have to deal with it all the time. If you have a large enough company to afford it, you should appoint a workplace safety expert. If you don’t, you can add it on as a peripheral to someone’s job description. Take one of your other workers who wants to make some extra money and offer to appoint him safety and health compliance chair in exchange for a bonus. Many workers will jump at the chance.
Make sure that every month or so, you have a meeting that deals with health and safety issues. It doesn’t matter exactly how often you do it, as long as you do it regularly. In some workplaces, you have to deal with issues of safety almost every week. In other workplaces, once every other month is probably good enough. The most important thing is to schedule it and post it and allow other workers to voice their concerns at the meeting. That way, you can start to develop a culture of workplace health & safety.
Most importantly, make sure that you post health and safety rules around the workplace. Whether you train your workers once or you train them a hundred times, someone will forget the guidelines at some point. Rather than berating your workers for being forgetful, make sure that they always have access to the guidelines. Put them in a place where everyone can see them and periodically quiz workers on them. Everyone should know the rules, whether it is food safety or proper maintenance and operation of machines. It could save a life.