Top mistakes made in health and safety

Health & Safety
May 20th 2020

Not taking health and safety seriously can cost both your organisation and your workers a lot. Here are a few common mistakes made in the health and safety space.

1. Not documenting your health and safety practices or plan

Keeping health and safety documents such as forms, checklists, plans, and policies is important to support your organisation’s employees on how to work safely.

Health and safety documentation can help your team in ways such as:

  • How to work safely, and make sure their personal health is prevented.
  • What to do in the event of a workplace incident.
  • How to identify workplace hazards, as well as mitigate or eliminate them.

Consider using an application like Notion to create a shared health and safety knowledge base, so that your documentation is easily accessible for your team and stays up to date with the latest changes.

2. No health and safety training

Health and safety training is important to mitigate workplace injuries and adopt an organisation safety-first attitude. Take the time to properly train your team on proper health and safety practices, and regularly update your training plans as hazards or workflows change.

3. Avoiding technology

If you’re not using technology as part of your health and safety practices, you’re missing out on a lot of useful tools. Technology can help with many factors of health and safety, such as:

  • Training: With technology you can create customised online courses, or even your own virtual reality training experience to educate your team on proper health and safety practices.
  • Reporting: Technology can help automate and simplify reporting, enabling you to identify workplace injury patterns and support health and safety choices.
  • Logistics: Technology can also help with the logistical processes to improve health and safety, such as using technology to capture data from a distance, or using IoT to automatically capture basic data from high-risk sites.

4. Failing to identify hazards

Failing to identify hazards is a critical mistake that can cause serious injury from negligence. Identifying hazards is important because you can then assess the risks involved, then control the risk or eliminate entirely before it causes an incident.

If you struggle with identifying hazards properly, here is a great guide from New Zealand’s SiteSafe on hazard identification. This guide goes over some basic questions to ask yourself with a 7 point analysis that is easy to use in any working environment context.

5. Failing to take corrective action

Failing to create corrective action creates a huge risk of the same accident happening all over again. After any incident, the details of the incident should be recorded and a decision on corrective action should be made.

Corrective action is important because it addresses the root cause of the incident, helping to prevent the incident from occurring a second time.

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