Workplace safety is one of the most commonly discussed topics in all industries—whether you are working for a public organization or a private company. Health and safety have become an essential area for organizations of all sizes and in all industries, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic.
One thing just about every business has learned from the pandemic is the importance of having a safety plan in place for when unforeseen events occur. A proper health and safety policy prepares you and your team for hazards like the COVID pandemic. It’s a set of written documents that act as the general guidelines to protect the company as well as workers’ safety during challenging times.
Each business has its own goals and characteristics, which is why the safety policy of two organizations is never the same. No matter the size of your company, you need to come up with a detailed safety policy that shows your commitment to workplace safety. It will demonstrate your commitment as an employer to provide your employees with a safe and healthy working space.
Here’s how to develop a health & safety policy for your startup.
Show Your Commitment to Workplace Safety
Make workplace safety your business’ priority. Demonstrate how the entire organization is committed to the health and safety of your employees by adding it to your mission statement. This tells people how workplace safety is more than just an obligation for you. It shows how your company’s supervisors and top-level managers are committed to keeping employees safe. However, constructing a mission statement with workplace safety as your primary goal alone is not enough. You need to take action to implement your policy.
Assess Safety Risks
It’s hard to run a safety audit for a business that has not yet got off the ground. However, it’s important to run a risk analysis for your business to get a clear picture of the potential hazards your employees might be exposed to. Even if you have a small office or a simple store, you need to assess all safety risks that pose a threat to your staff.
Organize a staff meeting and invite your employees to share their concerns regarding workplace hazards. Since your employees are used to working in these conditions, they know the risks better than anyone else. Safety risks are not limited to workplace hazards – they also include machine-related risks and hygiene concerns. Investing in quality, Phsbesafe safety equipment can also help to protect your staff and provide a safe and healthy work environment.
Draft your Documents
As part of creating a health and safety policy, you need to write a Statement of Intent where you outline your commitment to protecting your employees from workplace risks. The Arrangement is another important document that lists people who are responsible for taking care of risk assessment, monitoring and investigating the workplace, and creating plans to mitigate these risks.
Basically, this statement details the health and safety department of your company or the group of people that will monitor the workplace and equipment to ensure safe working conditions for all employees.
Keep your employees up to date with any changes to your health and safety policy. Every time you update your business’ health & safety policy, make sure your employees know about these changes and what they mean for them. New hires should be made aware of the risks that are inherent in your workplace and what they can do about them. How your employees are trained for managing their individual and workplace safety plays an integral part in protecting your business from potential hazards.
Provide Feedback on Safety Performance
Your employees know more about the health and safety risks of your business than anyone. OSHA says that your employees should participate in implementing safety procedures for your business. This includes contractors, subcontractors, freelancers, and staff working on site. Everyone in your business, should follow workplace health and safety guidelines at all times.
You should conduct regular meetings with your staff to check they are on track and observing health and safety measures. Every business owner should also make a habit of providing regular feedback to their staff and top-level management team about workplace safety. Remember that new risks will continue to emerge as you implement new tools and equipment. To mitigate these risks and ensure that you are obliging with official health & safety regulations, it is important to continually communicate with your employees.
As part of your policy, you can also offer incentives to your employees for reporting serious accidents or risks that could affect their fellow workers’ safety. Many people don’t pay attention workplace safety until it poses a threat to their health. However, they will definitely participate in your workplace safety program if they are offered incentives. These small incentives go a long way in protecting your employees.
An effective health and safety policy is one that involves the entire organization, from every employee to top-tier management. So, why wait? Follow the above steps to develop a robust safety plan for your startup.