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Seline McNamee

Sep 2, 2016

Building Health and Safety Culture for Everyone's Benefit

Since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, concerns have been raised that the emphasis on the punitive measures of the new legislation isn’t doing anything to actually make our workplaces safer.

Experts in the industry are concerned that a fear of the consequences of failing to obey the law to the letter means that businesses are only aiming to meet the minimum Health and Safety requirements. Focusing on the benefits to everyone of a holistic Health and Safety Culture in the workplace would be a better goal.

In order to get the most out of the new legislation, businesses might find it necessary to move beyond simple box-ticking and instigate a cultural shift to ensure and maintain compliance across the board.

There are several key steps towards full, all-encompassing compliance.

  1. Understand the risks

Establish a clear outline of the risks, the level of risk and the likelihood of the risk occurring. Make this part of the first module in your Intuto compliance training course so you know exactly what employees need to be prepared for. Just as importantly, they will understand why they need to be training. People will make more of an effort to complete training and upskill if they’re clued into the reasons.

  1. Start from basics

Overestimating employees’ previous training and experience is a common and dangerous mistake. While it may seem unnecessary, it’s actually beneficial to start with the absolute basics and build a strong foundation of competency. As well as ensuring that there are no gaps in knowledge, part of a culture of compliance is having everyone on the same page. Conveniently, Intuto’s online training programs can be stored and reused. As a result, you won't be wasting your time repeating the basics, while still ensuring your employees are getting a ground-up training.

  1. Get everyone involved

As mentioned earlier, Health and Safety Culture is not about ticking boxes. To create a truly holistic environment of compliance, it’s important to involve workers in the process. Make use of the forum function to get everyone participating. - They can talk, ask questions and collaborate anywhere at anytime. Make sure everybody is on the same page and taking part in the conversation.

  1. Debrief

Despite even the best-laid plans, accidents will likely still happen. When they do, have a discussion about it. Why did it happen? What have we learned? What will we change to avoid this in the future? Now might be the time to update your training program to reflect improvements to your health and safety plan, and encourage employees to go over the relevant units

  1. Maintenance

Workers should regularly review compliance protocol and undergo testing to stay on the ball. Additional training modules can be added to your program as necessary, to upskill and maintain compliance.

There are, of course, many other ways to build on your health and safety culture at work – posters in the break room for example, or a segment in the regular meeting – but the process begins with a detailed training program.

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