Startup Founders Must Create a Strong Safety Environment for Employees And Himself

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Aarzu Khan
A full-time data scientists and a part-time industry analyst; still learning power of effective presentation and firm believer of the thought "Numbers are always magical". Love to be in the network of people who 'know' how to respect their time and keep others engaged in meaningful activities.

As you’ll doubtless be aware, the law in any developed or developing countries requires that you ensure the safety and well-being of all your employees (and contractors) while they’re performing tasks for you. Whether that means providing personal protective equipment (PPE) or training workers in the correct manner in which to work at heights, you’ll be following guidance (set by the likes of the Health and Safety Executive) to minimise the risk of harm to the well-being of your team. But, what do you do to create a strong safety ‘environment’, generally? Here are some tips for working towards the idea of promoting a safe environment for you and your employees.

Here are some tips for working towards the idea of promoting a safe environment for you and your employees.

Be transparent

First and foremost, it’s important you demonstrate integrity when handling issues concerning health and safety. Your workers will be aware that their jobs contain an element of risk, so you’ll find that employee trust and morale is improved if you’re prepared to be honest and communicative about the risks involved and the measures you’re taking to protect them from harm.

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When incidents occur, abide by the law and record them properly, as well as taking steps to analyse what went wrong and what can be done differently next time. But, take it a step further and share this information with your wider team too: demonstrate that you’re aware of accidents and near misses, and explain the steps you’re taking towards implementing safer working practices. This kind of positive approach demonstrates competency, a passion for learning from the past and a commitment to continual improvement – all of which go a long way towards creating a strong safety environment.

Make it easier to comply

Next, make it easier to follow the advice above by investing in the right kind of technology and infrastructure. This might mean buying compliance management software from somewhere like this, as it will help you to manage your audits, action tracking and data so that you can have full visibility and accountability across the business. It might be something you need to persuade senior colleagues to invest in, so do some reading on the business case for taking health and safety seriously. That way, you’ll be creating a strong safety environment for you and your employees. 

Encourage feedback and active participation

Another way of improving the health and safety environment in your workplace is to encourage participation and a culture of communication. For example, actively encourage your team to report accidents, near misses, reckless behaviour and safety failures without fear of retribution, providing a number of methods to do this – such as via anonymous feedback boxes, email and one-to-one meetings.

Provide regular training

Finally, regular, high-quality training sessions will help to create a strong safety environment in your workplace. From training your workers on the machinery and materials they’re using on a regular basis, to delivering good induction training to new recruits and refresher classes for those who have been doing the job for a while, you’ll be doing a great deal to reduce the frequency and severity of incidents in your workplace.

However, don’t just stop there. Take the time to review how reliably your workers are attending health and safety training sessions. Ask them for feedback and tips for improvement, as well as working closely with training providers to tackle common obstacles to engagement, such as a lack of time for training or the perception of the training just being a ‘box ticking exercise.

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Combined, the tips above will help to improve health and safety in your workplace.

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