If you've just been appointed as a health and safety representative in your company, you'll already know that there's a lot on your plate. You're ultimately responsible for all employees' health and safety, and need to make sure preventative measures are put in place to minimise risk where possible. Feeling overwhelmed? Don't! It's easy to shine in your new role...
Health and safety representatives are being celebrated around the world at the moment.
In Australia, nominations have just opened for the 2013 Comcare Work Health and Safety Awards.
There's a special award on offer for the 'Health and Safety Representative of the Year', says PS News
And in the US, Mercury Marine's Director of Environmental, Health and Safety has just been presented with a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award
for 'devoting his life to the safety of others', adds BoatingIndustry.com
And there's a chance that similar accolades will be awarded in South Africa.
For example, you have until 3 May to get in your nominations for this year's 'Greening the Future' awards, says the Mail & Guardian Online
This's a great way to prove your company has met its health safety and environmental responsibilities as set out by the Occupational Health and Safety Act
, says FSP Business
But there's more to being a health and safety representative than winning awards…
Safety is key.
So as a health and safety representative or HSE rep, you'll have to ensure that employees are safe in their work environment, says FSP Business
The easiest way to fit this in with your other responsibilities is to conduct a risk assessment to identify potential dangers at work and report them to the HSE committee or to your employer.
But what's the best type of risk assessment to identify any new hazards in the workplace that could affect your employees' health and safety?
The Health and Safety Bulletin
explains that a continuous risk assessment is an informal risk assessment performed on an ongoing basis.
All you'll need to do is observe employees performing their tasks as part of your daily responsibility.
This way, you'll quickly notice hazards in the workplace, like loose wires that could be tripped over while walking to the printer.
You'll also be able to step in and stop the employee from continuing any task that presents too high a risk to his health and safety, says FSP Business
Who knows, you could just win an award for meeting your responsibilities as a health and safety representative!