A Complete Compliance Playbook for Health and Safety Officers
Perhaps, you must’ve heard the phrase “the best defence is a good offence.” This is a common phrase used in sports, but it can be applied in different workplaces, as well. It simply encourages health and safety managers to be proactive in order to establish and maintain a well-planned and properly implemented program. Having a well-planned and properly implemented system is a vital strategy to manage day-to-day safety matters and demonstrate compliance when the date for regulatory inspection on your workplace is due. There are many key steps that you can consider in your compliance playbook for a successful inspection. Read on for details on some of the steps.
Establishment of Goals
The major goals for almost every business are productivity and financial well-being. But every business also has its specific goals, depending on their industry, products, services, and company policies. Your first step should be to prioritise your goals in your compliance playbook. The primary goals to consider include:
- Striving for corporate sustainability and minimising any negative impacts on the environment.
- Protecting the health and safety of your workforce, clients, visitors, and the surrounding community.
- Protecting the organisation’s reputation and maintaining good relationships with the community.
- Avoiding citations, penalties, and fines from regulatory agencies such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
- Ensure to write down your goals, visualise them, and plan on how you’re going to achieve them.
Have a Game Plan
Failing to come up with a plan is the same as planning to fail. As the safety officer, you need to have a game plan solidly rooted in a keen knowledge of compliance. Consider the following when creating the plan:
- Whether there are permits required for your operations and, if yes, do you have the relevant permits?
- Whether you have an effective documentation system to enable you to maintain compliance, correct any errors, and keep track of your successes.
- Your reporting obligations under different authority laws and if you have a proper system to compile and submit the reports.
- The rules and regulations that apply to your business operations concerning environmental compliance and health and safety in your workplace.
- Ensure the management and the workers are well aware of the relevant points to bring them on the same page with your plan.
Never stop practising, regardless of whether your safety compliance programs are showing great successes. This is a course that seeks constant improvement and requires total concentration. Below are some of the factors to include in your practice regimen:
- Schedule for regular staff training and ensure it is clear, practical, and engaging. Test, spot check, and consider retraining programs to make it stick with the employees.
- Implement a comprehensive audit program to check the status of your health and safety efforts. Inspect your facility regularly, recording the observations, and share the findings with your workforce. You’ll need access tools like safety ladders for convenience and safety when accessing different sites and equipment across the workplace. Also, ensure to plan for corrective measures to prevent recurrence of the issues found.
- Have a solid recordkeeping program for reporting compliance and at the same time serve as your data-driven guide for workplace health and safety. The system should include your illness and injury rate, calendars for new applicable regulations and compliance, and the corrective and preventive measures taken.