Involving Staff in Health and Safety

Man Falling

Regardless of the industry, there are always inherent workplace risks. When left unidentified or inadequately addressed, these risks can cause potentially serious and long-term damage—both to your organisation and to your employees. A common strategy to mitigate these risks is to establish a comprehensive, company-wide health and safety risk management plan. And, the most beneficial approach to developing a successful plan is through employee involvement.

Research conducted by the HSE has shown that when employees are consulted during health and safety planning sessions, there are fewer work-related injuries and productivity and motivation is improved. However, the process is not as simple as just asking your employees to fill in a questionnaire. Instead, it should be structured around a collaborative consultation session. This consultation should be built upon the following five principles:

  1. Talk: Ask your employees to discuss what issues and risks they regularly encounter.
  2. Listen: Engage in the discussion, and record the issues and risks that are mentioned.
  3. Seek and learn: Investigate your employees’ claims.
  4. Share: Discuss what steps can be taken to address the concerns that your employees raised.
  5. Consider: Request feedback about the proposed safety steps, and ask if your employees have additional suggestions.

Through this collaborative method, your company can develop a bespoke health and safety risk management plan while also educating your employees on the potential hazards. For the most effective results, at a minimum, your company should conduct these consultations annually.