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To implement foolproof workplace health and safety, ask your employees what to do

by , 21 November 2014
Your employees know your health and safety problems better than anyone. They experience them on a daily basis.

With that in mind, ask yourself why you'd continue with your health and safety management without involving them?

There are clear regulations that outline your obligation to tell your employees about health and safety risks. But this doesn't mean your employees shouldn't do the same for you.

With daily experience of your health and safety programme and its flaws, your employees have the best information to improve it.

That's why, when it comes to implementing or improving your health and safety, you should ask your employees what they'd do...

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Here's how involving your employees in matters of health and safety will benefit your company

Because your employees have such clear knowledge about what's happening in your company, they can tell you where to implement better safety procedures.
This can help you create a more accurate health and safety programme with specific safety measures that will be more effective at preventing accidents than general ones. This will lead to a lower accident rate and less time lost because of them.
You can also make these improvements continuous by holding morning briefing sessions where you and employees can discuss safety problems and solutions before everyone starts work.
And involving your employees in health and safety issues also motivates them to take a more active interest in health and safety.
If you're still sceptical, look at the success Barhale Construction plc had with this approach. 

Here's how involving employees in health and safety helped Barhale Construction plc

Barhale Construction plc is a construction company in the UK. It created a programme to improve two-way communication between employees and site managers. It also created the 'Safety Coach'. This is someone that visits particular sites and actively speaks to employees and gets involved in work on site. 
These programmes helped Barhale Construction plc gain more information about the state of health and safety on site.
An important part of Barhale Construction plc's success with this approach is its:
- 'Safety alerts' that highlight any accidents, injuries and incidents so health and safety managers can learn from them.
- Monthly safety newsletter called 'The Safety Focus' that employees get monthly and tells them about all the company's health and safety news.
- Breakfast briefings where they discussed safety before everyone starts work for the day.
- Safe people – Safe place campaign that focuses on:
Preventing injuries;
Immediate reinforcement of safe behaviour;
The consequences of unsafe behaviour;
Promoting ownership by the individual; and
Identifying trends through a database.
All of these factors work to involve employees in health and safety. Not just to keep them informed, but to get information from them about health and safety on site.
And it had amazing results with Barhale Construction plc's accident frequency rate dropping by 75%. As a result, its employees' man-hours tripled.
its employees also stayed with Barhale Construction plc  for longer because of the improvement in their working conditions.
When you see results like this, you have to ask yourself why you haven't involved your employees in health and safety yet? Do so today and you'll be able to create foolproof health and safety in your workplace.
For more information on implementing effective health and safety at work, check out the Health and Safety Advisor

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