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Keep your employees safe from external threats of violence and internal safety accidents in one move!

by , 25 March 2013
It's always a tragedy when violence breaks out in the workplace. Employees are injured, left in shock and the company reels from the loss of productivity. But it's not just strike action you need to prepare for. In fact, there's a rise in cases of employees bringing guns and other safety devices into the office to 'protect themselves'. That's why you need to conduct a risk assessment today to make sure your employees are safe from external threats of violence as well as safety accidents in the workplace...

A hired hand 'turned hero' after he saved the life of the Pretoria pastor who had hired by carried the shot and bleeding pastor over his shoulder and down a mountain, says iAfrica.
The two were overpowered by armed men while working in the garden. 
Sadly, this case isn't just a one-off. 
Violence is ever-present in South Africa – even in working environments.
Conduct risk assessments regularly as we live and work in a violent country…
That's why you need to make sure you're conducting regular risk assessments to protect your employees' health and safety.
Especially as the bulk of workplace safety injuries happen by accident, and safety procedures themselves can result in panic and injury if employees aren't prepared, says FSP Business.  
So you should conduct a risk assessment immediately to prevent workplace accidents arising from employees not knowing how to use equipment and safety devices properly.
It's the easiest way you'll be in the all-clear with your Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) obligations.
Because the Department of Labour says it's your responsibility to protect all employees' health and safety, even when safety procedures go wrong.
So you'll have to prove you took all reasonable safety steps to prevent any accidents in the workplace.
Conducting a risk assessment and keeping proof of it in your company's HSE file is the easiest way to do so.

So if your employees are carrying weapons in the workplace, you'll need to conduct an emergency preparedness and response risk assessment.
Make proper safety training and watching the news part of your regular safety risk assessment to keep employees safe!
This could mean you make sure your security guards have gone through gun safety training and making sure other employees can't access the security guard's gun, says FSP Business.
It's also a great idea to watch the news as part of your health and safety risk assessment.
If you read or hear that riots are heating up in the area where your business is based, you'll need to do a risk assessment to see if there's a chance the protest action will affect your business.
This way, you'll also be better prepared for hazards like terrorism and workplace violence, says the Ready website. 
You'll then be prepared to send employees home early or provide alternative transport to ensure they get home safely.
By identifying any such hazards through a risk assessment, you'll be able to better recognise and control them in the workplace and save costs by being proactive instead of reactive, says the Health and Safety Advisor.

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