According to HSE health and safety executive, "Managing health and safety is little different from managing any other aspect of your business. You need to do a risk assessment to find out about the risks in your workplace, put sensible measures in place to control them and make sure they stay controlled." To control these risk factors and protect employees, every organization must prepare a complete safety manual. Safety of employees is of utmost importance to an organization for smooth functioning of the company. An appropriate safety manual will create a healthy environment for both the employer and employees.
Examine the risks for employees with different job descriptions. Risks for side operators are different from those employees who come in direct contact with hazardous material. For example, employees who manufacture a certain product face different risks than those who pack the product.
Check all the areas prone to accidents such as slippery areas, broken roofs, parking space and walkways. These areas can be unsafe if left unexamined; any repairs required should be performed as soon as possible.
Collect information for employee protection and safety. First-aid procedure should be easily available for all employees. Staff must be provided basic safety instructions such as washing body parts exposed to chemicals in hazardous areas. Also, specify safety equipment such as glasses and gloves where required.
Organize information into various sections for easy understanding by employees. Include procedures to follow in case of machinery malfunction. For example, if machinery is not functioning properly, employees should immediately report to the employer and call for machinery mechanics.
Make sure there is a procedure for proper disposal of waste material created by your company because it can be hazardous for the health of your employees.
Develop a written plan to avoid accidents. Teach employees quick ways to respond to an emergency situation like an accident or mishap. Make your employees aware about the fire-alarms, emergency exits and first-aid kits. Include safety guidelines for manufacturers who assemble machinery for the protection of employees.
List the procedure to be followed in case of employee accident and disciplinary measures in case of an accident. Include an emergency exit plan in the safety manual. Include instructions regarding ways to respond to an emergency situation like calling an ambulance and reporting to the employer.
Provide copies of the insurance forms for employee understanding in the safety manual. Make sure your employees know about the insurance policies in case of accidents.
Bind your manual with a three ring folder. It is a good practice to bind because any necessary changes can be easily added or omitted. Dividers can be used so that your employees can easily find the policies they want to read. The safety manual should also be available online for easy access.
Ask employees for the potential hazards they are facing individually.
For larger businesses a safety manual should be developed and created by an experienced team of health professionals, industrial hygienists and attorneys to provide an affordable method of compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standards and Regulations.
- Health and Safety Executive: Manual Handling Frequently Asked Questions
- "A Guide to Compliance for Process Safety Management/Risk Management Planning"; Frank Spellman; 1998
- "How to Develop an Employee Handbook"; Joseph Lawson; 1998
- "Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety"; International Labor Office; 1998
- Health and Safety Executive: An Introduction to Health and Safety
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