January is the perfect time to reassess your health and safety equipment, protocols and procedures to see if anything can be improved. The chances of everything being absolutely spot on are minimal, so we’ve popped together a few areas for you to look at once you’re back from your Christmas hols.

  

Trip hazards

Slips, trips and falls are major causes of long-term employee sickness, and all of them can be easily prevented. Trips are usually as a result of uneven surfaces, loose carpet tiles and mats, and wires from electrical equipment trailing out from under desks. However, it could also be a case of badly positioned furniture, unnecessary clutter, poorly marked steps or raised areas, and even items such as stationery that have been dropped on the floor accidentally.

 

Do you have proper safety gear?

Depending on the nature of your workplace, you could need any of a number of forms of safety clothing and equipment. Even the smallest offices have kitchen and electrical cupboards, plus they may also have accessible roofs, plant rooms, workshops and heavy duty machinery in a yard or production line, so make a list of equipment you should own and fill in any gaps.

 

Train and refresh

Every member of staff should be given a tour of the building on their first day, including being shown all fire exits, assembly points and the location of fire extinguishers and first aid kits. It’s easy for staff to forget these details after just a few short weeks, so make it as easy as possible for them to remember key details. This could be repeat tours of the building, a digestible crib sheet, visual diagrams in key places such as the staff room, and a monthly email newsletter to refresh their memories.

 

Encourage staff to speak up

Your employees are usually the first ones to spot health and safety hazards, as between them they use every part of the building on a daily basis. Make it clear that open communications are welcome and that any H&S hazards or potential problem areas should be reported immediately.

 

Have a clear out

Many accidents occur due to superfluous furniture, paperwork and other items cramming spaces to capacity and beyond. By getting everyone involved in a spring clean, you can improve wellbeing and efficiency as well as health and safety levels.

 

This list is by no means exhaustive, so please do share your tips with us by posting them on our Facebook page and tagging us on Twitter. Together we can make every working environment a safe and happy one (unlike Homer Simpson's).

 

Simpsons