Another year has passed and we’ve just said goodbye to 2016! It seems like the year flashed past in a nanosecond and now we’re already nearing the end of the first month of 2017.
With the New Year comes the thought of new ideas and projects, developing new business plans (especially for those businesses whose financial year is fiscal). So, we thought, why not try a New Year’s resolution for your business that involves improving your health and safety management and improves the working lives of yourself and your colleagues?
Is everything up to date?
A New Year a new you, right? Wrong, A new you won’t happen unless you have a plan, in this case a new Health and Safety plan and targets to help focus our minds for success. Ones that are achievable, simple, and applicable. The early part of the year is a fantastic time to renew and review your system, and the documentation that supports it.
Now don’t become disheartened if you find that you’re overwhelmed when looking at this documentation. Set yourself a calendar date to review each piece of documentation in a bite-size approach, e.g. one process or risk assessment per week or month and set yourself a cycle or review. And then give yourself a reward when each one is addressed. And by the end of the first quarter you might find yourself pleasantly surprised at how much documentation you’ve waded through.
If you don’t have the support from a Health and Safety Advisor or Consultant, then it could be that you miss important documents to demonstrate compliance, or not realise something isn’t applicable anymore. So, when you are completing your review, make sure you have access to good advice, and get help if you are not entirely sure of your knowledge.
Focus don’t stress!
We’re fully aware that Health and Safety is a broad subject and the amount of work it entails can sometimes be a challenge for a business to do themselves. But if you are making one of your 2017 business aims to concentrate more on Health and Safety you do need to set aside time, effort, and resource – even if this is as small as allocating an hour or two per week as a starting point. The key is to focus on one topic at a time, and if you’ve set yourself a plan for improvement then this can be useful to demonstrate to stakeholders such as your insurers or the HSE that you are managing your priorities. They are often more cooperative if things don’t go quite to plan if you can show your progress to date.
Work on one area at a time – complete it to the best of your capabilities – move onto the next.
If you find that you need help or extra support then there are lots of good resources available that are free, such as the HSE website, regular newsletters from people such as us or even Google! Note though that information obtained via Google or other search engines may not be the most up-to-date.
What about your training is that up-to-date?
The New Year is a great time to check that all members of staff are sufficiently trained and have the knowledge they need to make sure this Health and Safety resolution is put into place.
Click here to have a look at the courses we have on offer. We can come to you, or you can come to us – lunch included when you visit us!
Reward, reward, and reward
There is no better way to keep your employees motivated in complying with the new procedures you put together than by rewarding them. Recognise the hard work they are putting into this and let them know that you have acknowledged their contribution. Maybe even implement a reward system to encourage good practice within the work place. This need not be financial – it could be as simple as offering cakes or other treats when things go particularly well.
Don’t be afraid to ask for support or help
You are not alone when it comes to your Health and Safety in the work place. To understand what you need to do and ensure it is all implemented correctly can be a daunting task. Don’t let it stress you out when it doesn’t need to. Often when you speak to your colleagues you will find they know more than you think, and if they don’t there are lots of specialists who are easily accessible via the web or social media. So, finding help need not be difficult if you need it. And sometimes it’s even free!
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