3 ways to share good practices with workers and contractors

by Alex on January 27, 2015

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Mangers are crucial in the health and safety process: if staying compliant isn’t important to managers, it’s not going to be important to workers, either. This is why there’s a strong focus on management in health and safety. But there’s more to it than that—if workers don’t carry out these practices, it’s not going to matter how committed managers are.

Making sure that site workers and contractors know that health and safety are important is crucial in ensuring a safe worksite. Here are 3 ways you can make sure your workers know to be safe around the worksite.

1. Pre-job presentations

Taking time before you get started on a construction or refurbishment job to talk about specific issues in health and safety can save you a lot of time down the road. You can use this time to address specific issues that are relevant to the job, answer questions that workers have, go over site rules, or discuss emergency procedures.

If you’re not sure what should be addressed, you can check out the Busy Builder series of presentations from the HSE at the bottom of their Small Builder page. These presentations are on topics that are relevant in many situations, such as hard hat practices, manual handling, and roof work. Each contains 10–25 slides and is meant to be suitable for a quick presentation; going through one of them should only take ten to twenty minutes.

2. Flyers, posters, and leaflets

Putting up a flyer or a poster next to an area that’s a health or safety risk is a great way to remind workers of the risks that they’re facing and the proper precautions. The HSE produces many flyers, leaflets, and posters that you can print out on your own and put up around your site. While some workers willfully ignore warnings about health and safety, many simply forget, and a simple reminder will encourage them to take precautions.

safety-poster

Good places to put up reminders include any place where wood, concrete, or stone is being cut, near potential asbestos sites, adjacent to ladder storage, next to the entrances to basements, and anywhere close to power lines or other overhead wires. Leaflets and flyers can also be placed in any common areas where workers travel through on a regular basis, such as a site office, locker room, or garage.

The HSE’s Busy Builder leaflets cover many important issues that are applicable to various types of work.

3. Toolbox talks

Much less formal than a presentation, toolbox talks are quick meetings before, during, or after the work day. They can be held with all of the workers on site or just a couple, and they can take place at predetermined times or more informally throughout the day. Usually they only take a few minutes and serve as a quick reminder to take the proper safety precautions throughout the day.

You can use any of the resources on this blog or the HSE website for your toolbox talk or you can use resources that are more specific to the task, such as those found at safetytoolboxtopics.com. The topics there aren’t specific to any field, and you an find a wide variety of things that might be applicable to your site. While these resources don’t specifically have to do with UK compliance, they’re great for encouraging safety around your site.

Health and safety from the ground up

Educating directors and managers about health and safety is great, but staying safe requires the participation of everyone. Take the time to make sure that your workers know about the risks they’re facing at your job site and how to take the necessary precautions. It takes time, but you could be saving someone from a serious injury!

Image credits: USDOL, HSE.

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