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Staying safe at work – by working together

colleagues-437019_640By David Cant

Keeping everyone safe when you’re working isn’t just the job of whoever’s been appointed to be in charge of all things ‘elf and safety related – it’s a team effort!And that means everyone needs to know what’s what – and how to pitch in, to make sure everyone is wised up to potential risks and hazards, and what to do in case something goes wrong.

So what’s the best way of working together? The HSE’s handy Leadership and Worker Involvement Toolkit is a pretty useful guide to figuring out what everyone involved can do to keep each other safe from harm. Read on for a review of what it covers.

Are you a worker or an employer?

Everyone has something different to offer – depending on their role, skills and experience, and if you’re a construction worker, then your job is pretty important when it comes to health and safety.

First off – you need to make sure you know what your rights are. As a worker, your employer is obliged by law to make sure they follow all the rules and guidelines – and aren’t trying to cut corners anywhere!

But you can also get involved into the nitty gritty, through worker involvement. Basically, this means that you get to have a say in any plans that are drawn up, as well as pointing out risks, and sharing ideas on how you can manage them better.

Do a Health and Safety MOT

Before you, your colleagues and your employer can all put your heads together with a safety plan though – you have to know where you’re at right now.

That means it’s time to do a thorough health check! It’s totally painless – this useful tool will help you sort through all the kinds of questions you should be asking yourselves.

After doing this, you should have a good idea of your current safety culture at work, as well as what kind of issues have been coming up. This is really useful to know – it’ll help you and your leaders to come up with some solid strategies on how to improve things in future.

Leading others to safety

If you’ve got a leadership role in your workplace, then don’t underestimate how powerful your voice is in keeping your colleagues and other people safe on site.

For starters – take a long, hard look at yourself and your behaviour. Are you aware of the risks around you? And how do you deal with them?

You’ll also need to be a strong and clear-headed supervisor – making sure that you communicate easy to follow instructions on how to stay safe to others, and checking up afterwards to see that they’re adhered to!

Your takeaway points

  • whatever your role in your business, check out the Leadership and Worker Involvement Toolkit for some prompts on how to make a safer workplace
  • If you’re a worker, stay clued up on your rights and make sure that your employer is doing what they are supposed to
  • If you’ve got a leading role, keep yourself in check and don’t take foolish risks – remember you’re an example to others! And pay close attention to what others are doing

How do you communicate important health and safety messages at work? What do you do to keep everyone safe? If you’ve got an idea you’d like to share or want to ask a question, let us know!

David Cant, Veritas Consulting

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