By Joanna Weekes
While it is essential that you have relevant policies and procedures developed for your workplace, if those policies and procedures exist only as documents in your safety management system and are not enforced, they are of no use.
It’s not enough to just have health and safety policies and procedures in place.
Don’t spend all that time and effort developing your policies and procedures just to have them filed away and left behind – just having legally sound and up-to-date safety policies and procedures is only worth it if you make sure they are properly implemented and monitored.
You can write folders full of policies and ask your employees to follow them, but unless you spend the time to enforce them and monitor your workers to ensure their compliance, they won’t be worth a thing if an incident occurs in your workplace.
5 tips to encourage worker compliance with your policies
Use the following tips to put your policies and procedures in place so that all the paperwork does the job it is meant to do in reducing health and safety risk in your workplace:
- Tailor all your policies and procedures to suit your specific workplace – the less practical and less matched the policies and procedures are to your workplace, the less likely workers are to comply with them.
- Train your workers in the policies and procedure relevant to their work – explain the purpose of the policy and why it’s important for your workers to follow systematic procedures.
- Ensure that all policies and procedures are readily accessible and available to all workers, all the time.
- Review your policies and procedures regularly to ensure they remain up-to-date and relevant.
- Supervise your workers and monitor them on a regular basis to ensure they are following policies and procedures.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having a workplace incident occur, the documentation proving you have policies and procedures in place is a good start to showing your business is safety conscious, but you need to go a step further by providing training sessions and enforcement because that’s what’s going to prevent incidents rather than responding to them.