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HRM/U5 Topic 2 Measures and Policies for Employee Safety at Work

WORKPLACE SAFETY MEASURES

It’s not always easy being a health and safety professional. Safety, although it directly affects your employees, is not always their first priority when performing their daily activities. It can be hard to get your workforce to adopt some of the workplace safety practices that you know will help to keep them safe.

Unless enforced, many workplace safety measures that you establish may fall through the cracks. Safety professionals must prioritize best practices based on their importance in order to effectively provide the required protection for employees. If nothing else, as the safety professional, you should be sure that your employees are observing the following essential safety practices.

Scheduled Breaks

Fatigue can result in slower reactions, reduced ability to process information, memory lapses, absent-mindedness, decreased awareness, lack of attention, underestimation of risk and reduced coordination., It’s absolutely essential that employees take regularly scheduled breaks. Not only can this help to avoid exhaustion and injuries that are associated with mind and body fatigue, but it can also reduce stress. Stress can be a large contributing factor to incidents of workplace violence, so any opportunity to lower employee stress levels should be taken.

Inform Management of Potential Safety Hazards

An unfortunate reality for those responsible for employee safety is that while they may be trained to locate and alleviate safety risks, they often still have limited knowledge about certain workplace hazards. This is due to the fact that many workplace hazards are not apparent unless you run into them while carrying out your duties. Since employees know more than anyone about the types of things they may run into on the job, they should play an integral role in locating and alleviating such risks. These employees should be taught to actively look for risks and report them to management.

Maintain Responsibility for the Company’s Health and Safety Policy

As the person in charge of safety at your company, you are responsible for the Health and Safety as well as Lone Worker Policies. However, these policies also come with responsibilities for your workforce. All your employees should be thoroughly versed and trained on all health and safety matters and updated whenever you make policy changes. This is so appropriate actions are taken in the event of an emergency because when seconds count, they should not be waiting for instructions.

WORKPLACE POLICIES

Your workplace policies help you build a lawful and pleasant workplace where your employees can thrive. We crafted a template to help you communicate your basic workplace policies pertaining to confidentiality, health & safety and anti-violence practices.

  • Harassment and violence
  • Workplace harassment
  • Workplace violence
  • Workplace safety and health
  • Preventative action
  • Emergency management
  • Smoking
  • Drug-free workplace

Confidentiality and data protection

We want to ensure that private information about clients, employees, partners and our company is well-protected. Examples of confidential information are:

  • Employee records
  • Unpublished financial information
  • Data of customers/partners/vendors
  • Customer lists (existing and prospective)
  • Unpublished goals, forecasts and initiatives marked as confidential

Harassment and violence

To build a happy and productive workplace, we need everyone to treat others well and help them feel safe. Each of us should do our part to prevent harassment and workplace violence.

Workplace harassment

Harassment is a broad term and may include seemingly harmless actions, like gossip. We can’t create an exhaustive list, but here are some instances that we consider harassment:

  • Sabotaging someone’s work on purpose.
  • Engaging in frequent or unwanted advances of any nature.
  • Commenting derogatorily on a person’s ethnic heritage or religious beliefs.
  • Starting or spreading rumors about a person’s personal life.

Workplace violence

Violence in our workplace is a serious form of harassment. It includes physical and sexual assault, destruction of property, threats to harm a person or property and verbal and psychological abuse. We want to avoid those incidents altogether, but we also want to be ready to respond if needed.

Workplace safety and health

Our company is committed to creating a hazard-free workplace. To this end, we will ensure workplace safety through preventative action and emergency management.

Preventative action

Preventative actions are any actions we take to avoid injuries or illnesses related to the workplace. We will periodically conduct risk assessments and job hazard analyses [through a workplace safety committee] to uncover health risks to employees. And we will establish preventative measures to address risks accordingly.

  • Hold employee training sessions on safety standards and procedures.
  • Make sure employees who work in dangerous locations are safe.
  • Provide protective gear like gloves, protective uniforms and goggles.
  • Direct inspectors and quality control employees to evaluate equipment and infrastructure regularly.

Emergency management

Emergency management refers to our plan to deal with sudden catastrophes like fire, floods, earthquakes or explosions. Our emergency management provisions include:

  • Functional smoke alarms and sprinklers that are regularly inspected.
  • Technicians (external or internal) available to repair leakages, damages and blackouts quickly.
  • Fire extinguishers and other fire protection equipment that are easily accessible.
  • An evacuation plan posted on each floor and online.
  • Fire escapes and safety exits that are clearly indicated.

Smoking

[Company’s name] is a smoke-free workplace. You can smoke in [designated smoking areas, balconies, open-air verandas and outer premises, like gardens and sidewalks.] Any other area in our workplace (like restrooms, lobby, offices, staircases, warehouses) is strictly smoke-free to protect non-smokers.

  • Extinguish your cigarettes and discard them in [outdoor ashtrays, cigarette burns.
  • Avoid smoking when you have scheduled meetings with clients or vendors.
  • Avoid smoking near flammable objects and areas.
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