The latest reported issued by the Health and Safety Executive has highlighted that Work at Height still remains as one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities.
With a shocking 14% increase in fatal falls from height since last year, 40 families have had a loved one taken away in circumstances that were more than likely preventable.
Industries such as construction, agriculture, forestry and fishing account for the greatest number of fatalities each year. But what can be done in order to reduce these fatalities?
Managing Director of Heightsafe, Ken Diable, says “It starts with creating a positive Health and Safety culture which will inevitably mitigate Work at Height hazards in the workplace.”
“The Health and Safety culture of an organisation is crucial. Failure to comply with policies and implement safety management systems can be detrimental to both someone’s life and the business.”
“Whilst Health and Safety culture is not enforceable, it can be assessed as part of an incident investigation to address outcomes of a poor culture.”
The Health and Safety Executive identifies that an effective Health and Safety culture should incorporate the following:
- Management commitment
- Visible management
- Consistent and high-quality communication between all personnel
- Active employee participation
- Open door policy for concerns to be raised
When Working at Height, safety measures should be the number one priority for employers. To celebrate Heightsafe’s 10 Year Anniversary, our directors are sharing their winning formula for creating a positive Health and Safety culture in the workplace.
1. Practical Mentality
When it comes to implementing Health and Safety guidelines within an organisation, it is important to embrace a ‘hands-on’ and committed approach. Look to involve personnel through engagement activities (see some examples below) and be aware of the risks that are present on a day to day basis, as well as wider considerations such as uncontrollable factors.
2. Employee Involvement
Incorporating employee engagement and powerful leadership creates an ideal benchmark for a positive Health and Safety culture. In order to encourage involvement with your initiative, consider the following:
- Leaders – ensure all Directors and Senior Managers are actively involved and supportive of the measures being implemented.
- Communication – make sure the department heads and team leaders understand the procedures being rolled out by hosting a number of briefing sessions.
- Involvement – whether you are creating new guidelines, or updating current ones, ensure that the voices of all employees are listened to including full-time, part-time staff and shift workers. Running a survey across your organisation will provide an overview of potential safety hazards, providing an opportunity to demonstrate your intent on making changes.
- Feedback – giving feedback on suggestions and promoting action plans, shows that you are committed to listening to the views of your employees, no matter their position in the company.
- Compassion – should an employee have an accident at work, it is important to act compassionate towards them rather than suggesting ways in which they could have prevented the incident from happening.
- Reinforce Positive Behaviour – when employees are involved in creating, implementing and maintaining a positive Health and Safety culture, be sure to recognise this and thank them for their contribution.
- Committee Meetings – aim to hold at least two Health and Safety committee meetings per year. These meetings will provide you with the opportunity to go through current and new guidelines, raise concerns around areas that may be failing and areas that are performing well.
- Results – once you have analysed the impact of your employee involvement initiative, be sure to share these results with the team as this will encourage future involvement.
3. Daily Risk Assessments
For any employees in high risk roles, consider formalising daily risk assessment discussions providing employees with the opportunity to raise concerns over daily factors such as weather changes prior to work commencing
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 are set out to prevent death and injury caused by a fall from height. If you are responsible for Work at Height in your business, you will need to ensure all work is correctly planned, supervised and carried out by the right personnel.
Ken believes that “all hazards at work can be either eliminated, prevented or controlled and the latest report by the Health and Safety Executive only reaffirms that more measures need to be put in place in order to change Work at Height practices for the better.”
With over 10 years’ experience of creating, implementing and maintaining a positive Health and Safety culture for a range of large and small companies, Heightsafe can help businesses maintain an impeccable Health and Safety record thanks to its portfolio of products, services and training courses.