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:
- Talk: Ask your employees to discuss what issues and risks they regularly encounter.
- Listen: Engage in the discussion, and record the issues and risks that are mentioned.
- Seek and learn: Investigate your employees’ claims.
- Share: Discuss what steps can be taken to address the concerns that your employees raised.
- 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.