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When in doubt, never leave your employees out of health and safety discussions

by , 01 July 2014
As an employer, you can't know everything that happens in your workplace. Even if you do regular risk assessment, you still might not see all the dangers.

Your employees are the only ones who can see all your workplace hazards. This because they're the ones who are at risk during their work.

If you really want to protect them, you need to know what they know. So if you're in doubt about how to keep your employees safe, make sure you include them in health and safety discussions...

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Health and safety discussions need to involve your employees

 
Whenever you have meetings with your health and safety representatives or committee, you must tell all your employees.
 
This gives them a chance to meet with the representatives before the meeting and raise concerns they have. Their representative can then take this list of concerns or issues into the meeting. 
 
Only then can you and your health and safety committee and representative discuss the problem and how to fix it.
 
But this is just one way in which you can involve your employees. Here's something else you can do to involve them…
 

Two more ways you can involve your employees in health and safety discussions

 
With extremely serious health and safety issues, you should hold large general meetings. It's important, with these kinds of safety matters, that you ensure everyone is on the same page. 
 
When it comes to less serious workplace hazards, you should adopt an open door policy. If your employees feel they can come speak to you about health and safety concerns, you'll keep them involved on a daily basis. 
 
So ensure you involve your employees in discussions about health and safety so you can always monitor and maintain the hazards and risks they face.
 
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Do you have more than 20 employees?
 
Don't ignore this health and safety obligation or else!
 
The DoL will slap you with a R50 000 fine or 1 year in jail if you don't have a health and safety representative. 
 
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