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Chris Bell

Health and Safety in the Workplace: How to Improve It



Health and safety requirements in any place of work goes beyond just moral and legal obligations, because the safety standards of any worksite directly and indirectly affect the business as well. If employees do not feel safe and keep getting injured, sick or harmed in any other way while at work, then both the actual productive capacity of your workforce and their morale will inevitably go down. On that note, let us now go through a few measures which can be taken to significantly improve health and safety standards in a place of work.

Understanding the Importance of NEBOSH Certified Training

NEBOSH stands for National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health, which is the most comprehensive and revered health and safety accreditation in the UK, although the international version of the accreditation holds prestige across the world as well. Everyone from supervisors and managers, right down to the ground level employees stand to benefit from the NEBOSH diploma or certificate course.

A number of training course providers in the UK adhere to the syllabuses and standards set for the NEBOSH diploma training, and anyone interested can browse the options on findcourses.co.uk to find accredited facilities near them. Not only can a NEBOSH diploma improve one’s chances of getting hired in the field of occupational safety and health management, the British Safety Council states that employees with a NEBOSH diploma earn about 16% more than similarly ranked employees who do not have the training.

As for business owners, they should either try to hire NEBOSH-certified supervisors and managers to begin with, or they can get their older employees trained in a NEBOSH accredited facility to improve the health and safety standards of the workplace. The more educated and trained your safety management officials are about occupational safety and health, the safer the work environment will become.

Updating the Safety Equipment

Hazardous worksites such as factories and construction sites must be properly stocked with necessary safety equipment for their employees to remain safe while working, but it is important to keep the equipment updated as well. For example, older lanyards are no longer considered to be the standard anymore and SRLs (self-retracting lanyards) are the new standard which construction businesses, or any other business in which falling is a possibility, should provide their employees with. Similarly, every piece of important safety equipment should be kept updated in accordance with the change in technology to better safeguard workers against health risks.

Training the Operative Workforce as and When Required

When a new piece of machinery is bought for boosting productivity in the business, it is of the utmost importance that the employees are properly trained to handle the new machine. While modern models are usually better in productive capacity, they can either be a lot more complicated to handle, or simply too different for even experienced workers. The training ensures that the productivity for which the machine was bought, is indeed achieved through its efficient application by the operator. Even more importantly, operational training for the new machine makes sure that no one gets hurt by accident, just because the operator did not have full knowledge of how to handle the industrial equipment.

Professional Safety Inspections Can Prevent Disasters

It should be common practice for every business owner to have their facilities professionally inspected every once in a while. Routine inspections detect even seemingly small problems before they can grow big enough to cause a disaster.

Aside from the occasional external teams checking out workplaces for potential risks to employee health and safety, the business’s own safety protocols should involve each and every employee doing their part to keep an eye on the equipment and environment around them to notice if anything seems unsafe or out of place. In fact, the line of communication should always be open both ways, so that the field workers can freely contact their supervisors and safety officers, if and when they notice something is wrong.

Investigating Every Accident or Health Issue is the Key to Improving Safety

In order to maintain a safe and healthy work environment, it is critical to take each and every accident seriously, followed up by a thorough investigation to reveal the cause/causes behind it. The effect of the accident is not as important as the reason in such cases. For example, if a number of the employees in an office space have developed allergies in the recent weeks or months, it could be a sign of mould growing somewhere out of sight. Similarly, a broken line which only caused the construction worker to fall from a height of three feet can be the sign of aging safety equipment that needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

For a business, health and safety hazards can lead to reduced workforce, poor reputation, union strikes, lawsuits, expensive settlements and even complete shutdowns. On the other hand, untrained or undertrained employees could lose their lives, jobs, the ability to work or even function properly in life, and so much more. Therefore, it is in the best interest of both employers and employees to remain aware and alert in implementing every possible safety measure in their fields of work.