There are many things that an employer or manager does to ensure the safety of their workers; remember that workers include contractors, sub-contractors and other people. Some of these things are:
Induction – making sure workers know about how we do health and safety in our organisation.
Training – making sure workers know the best and safest way to do their tasks.
Supervision – providing an experienced worker to watch over a worker who may be new, or new to the task.
Toolbox meetings – discussing what we are about to do and how it will be managed, including the hazards and risks and how to manage them
SOPs – standard instructions for tasks.
PPE – providing workers with the most appropriate personal protection
Checklists – machinery, plant and site.
Despite all this, our workers still get hurt, or do the task without paying due attention to safety or quality.
Nothing beats looking. One of the best tools in our safety toolbox is our eyes. Site reviews, and talking to the workers on the job, are very powerful tools. This allows us to identify work being done well, work being done not so well, and any problems on site. It doesn’t matter if the site is construction or transport, etc. There will always be a place or task we can look at.
Recently, I was on a construction site. I had visited this site weekly for a few weeks prior to this incident. The organisation is very reputable and takes working safely seriously. On none of my previous visits had I identified any major problems. This visit we saw a worker using a concrete saw without water, without a mask, and without hearing protection. We contacted the site manager immediately who addressed the situation instantly. The worker only had a small job to do and decided to do it without following proper procedure; he believed that it would take longer to do it safely. Clearly, people will take short cuts if they think they will get away with it.
The second step is to act. If you identify anything wrong, you must address it at once. If it is left, you send a message that it’s okay to take shortcuts. That you will only address concerns once the job is done. If you identify concerns, you should follow up to make sure the correct actions have been taken, and that the concern is not recurring.
How can Safewise help? Safewise can help find any potential issues in your workplace through site visits, toolbox meetings and the various other services we offer. Let us help make your workplace safer, get in touch.