How to monitor and review health and safety practices in the workplace

Written by Chloe Harwood

Health and safety is an issue that no boss can afford to ignore. Any lapses in risk management can have devastating results for workers, who may be injured or made ill, and they can lead to legal action, financial losses and reputational damage for firms. So, if you’re to protect your personnel and help to safeguard the future success of your business, you’ll need to ensure you monitor and review your health and safety practices effectively. Here are some top tips to help you along the way.

Get the basics right

As safety experts Phoenix highlight, for firms that employ five or more people, health and safety policies are a legal requirement. When you’re creating these policies, bear in mind that they should include a statement of your company’s goals and objectives in terms of risk management and the duties of your managers and workers. They must also cover any arrangements you have put in place to implement your safety policies.

Also, it’s no good coming up with these policies and then simply shelving them. You’ll need to review your safety practices on a regular basis to ensure that they remain up to scratch and continue to meet the needs of your business. As part of this, you should conduct periodic assessments of your risk controls and safety management structures. You’ll also need to ensure that you report on the safety implications of any new procedures or equipment that could affect the risks in your workplace. The same applies to any changes to your workforce that may impact on safety levels. In addition, you’re expected to report any safety failures and accidents.

Go that extra mile

Beyond this, it is good practice to monitor sickness absence rates among your personnel. Detecting any trends or increases in these sickness levels can alert you to underlying problems and therefore enable you to control dangers more effectively. You may also decide to include assessments of senior managers’ contributions to health and safety performance in their appraisals. This can help to drive risk management standards up further within your organisation.

If you’re struggling, bring the experts in

If you lack confidence when it comes to monitoring and reviewing your health and safety practices, or you simply don’t have the time needed to focus on this issue, you might benefit from bringing in expert third parties to help. Specialist consultants can improve your existing policies or devise new ones on behalf of your firm. They can also advise you on how best to monitor your safety procedures. This guidance should help to take the pressure off you and your fellow managers and it could make your working life that little bit easier.

Whether you choose to bring in experts like this or you decide to go it alone, you must ensure that you keep a close eye on your risk management policies on an ongoing basis and make any changes when required. If you don’t do this and you allow safety standards to lapse, problems could quickly arise.

About the author

Chloe Harwood