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Organisations working across all sectors including construction, medical, and community services and using technology, tools and equipment should place safety at the centre of their company culture. The importance of safety training should extend beyond initial staff induction. Information sharing and training should be ongoing and focus on everyday changes to roles and working conditions. By understanding their health and safety workers can reduce the risk of work related injury, illness or fatalities.
When new employees join the team, they should be aware that the organisation puts a high value on health and safety. One way to do this is to have everyone, from entry level staff to senior management, demonstrate their support for and knowledge of safety. Staff members should learn about safety training through detailed policies and procedures published in easy to read and accessible formats. Health and Safety needs to be part of the organisational culture with everybody engaged.
Safety focused organisations learn from incidents that affect workers’ health. They review each incident, and make changes to policies and procedures to prevent similar accidents or illnesses happening in the future.
Those team members responsible for health and safety need to ensure that all safety training including First Aid or Manual Handling is up to date and clearly demonstrates change and how it affects staff. All changes should also be reflected in updated policies and procedures. When an employee is exposed to increased risk e.g. taking up a new position or changing duties, new health and safety training should be provided to address this change and reduce the risk of an accident. An example might be a community care worker moving from a day shift to a night shift. What changes?
Those in leadership roles including health and safety officers must take the lead in safety procedures. They can offer advice on new or improved safety systems and training to prevent workplace accidents and emergencies. Ensuring clear easy communication and information sharing among the staff team is essential in achieving this goal. Senior managers and safety officers need feedback from all employees to help identify real risks facing the organisation. We suggest using an inclusive team based approach to develop solution which will reduce or prevent risks. This approach will benefit all and lead to a positive experience for all stakeholders engaging with your organisation.
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