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Health and Safety within the workplace

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In any organisation health and safety is an important factor to manage. When it comes to health and safety in facility management it is a legal requirement to initiate a Safety Management System that is designed around the diverse industries your company operates in. The Safety Management System should incorporate all aspects of safety from simplified employee information to regulatory safety statements and dealing with the public.

 

Risk Assessment           

Conducting a risk assessment and creating a safety statement is a requirement of Irish Health and Safety Law. Some employers or managers are often put off by the task of risk management, thinking that it is too complicated and time consuming but once the process is simplified it can become a manageable process. Risk assessment includes 3 main steps, which are; identifying hazards, identifying the level of risk for each hazard and identifying how to avoid or reduce that risk. By following these three steps your risk assessment is completed. Each industry will have certain risks and hazards that are typically associated in that specific industry. The HSA (Health Safety Authority) have created a BeSmart programme for small businesses that help define the risks and hazards associated with a variety of industries

 

Safety Statements

A Safety statement outlines the management of safety procedures within the workplace. The safety procedures are defined by the risk assessment, detailing where the main potential risk hazards occur and how to deal with them. The statement will detail the specific safety aspects of your workplace and the specific arrangements, facilities and resources in relation to each specific risk. In line with having the statement openly available, you should also provide easily accessible information in relation to the first-aid officers, safety representatives and emergency procedures.

 

Informing employees

Your employees must be made aware of the contents of the safety statements and updated to change in arrangements and procedures as soon as they are implemented. The safety statement may be circulated in various forms such as annual distribution, electronically (on company intranet), verbally (in relation to specific risks), through inclusion in employee handbooks and through training. Ensuring  the safety statement is accessible in a variety of ways provides an efficient  distribution of information and increases interaction  and awareness of safety within your site. While it is important for employees to be aware of the complete safety statement, there is a higher relevance attached to employees being educated on the safety aspects of their specific tasks.

 

 

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