Daniel Kehoe: A safer work environment

PEOPLE are our greatest asset. Have you heard that one before? Attracting and retaining talented people is always a challenge. This column continues identifying the factors you need to manage to demonstrate to your people that they really are your greatest asset. Getting these right will also help you attract and retain the best people. This week we look at safety and security. Run your business or organisation through this checklist and answer these three questions: What needs to happen? What could we do better? What do we need to lead and manage better? Safety • International/national/industry safety practices, standards and benchmarks are used to implement, manage, measure and improve safety. • Injuries/incidents are reported and analysed to identify trends, hazardous activities and situations to eradicate root causes. • Hazards and unsafe practices are identified and made safe or corrected. • Damage/malfunction to plant and equipment is reported and remedied. • Recognition and acknowledgement is given to people who report hazardous situations and/or near miss incidents. This information is used to identify adverse trends and take remedial action before an incident/injury occurs. • Safe working procedures are used for all potentially dangerous activities. These include isolation and lock out permit details (where appropriate) together with precautionary health and safety instructions for the work in hand. • Appropriate protective equipment and guards are worn and used in all requirements. • Major, non-routine work is analysed for critical safety factors and a ‘safe work practice schedule’ is prepared, implemented and monitored. • All staff act as ‘safety inspectors’ and warn/advise others if they place themselves or others in danger. People who most actively engage in this initiative are acknowledged and recognised. • Your business executes a ‘zero tolerance’ policy and practices related to drugs and alcohol. Security • Emergency response plans exist for all possible situations. • These plans incorporate the best knowledge and experience of all relevant disciplines. • These plans stipulate a sequence of appropriate responses to a given emergency with clear instructions regarding health and safety. • The response plans define levels of authority for initiating the plans and actions. • The response plans are used for training and practice. They are tested in mock situations to identify weaknesses, improve the response plan and strategy, and to prepare for an actual event. • Response plans include communication, evacuation, muster and identification routines where appropriate. • You test for awareness and preparedness for an actual emergency. If you would like information on a system and tools designed to achieve this and much more, see and click on 2. Benchmark Business Improver.

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