Do you use accident statistics to judge your health and safety performance?
Accident statistics can provide a good indication that you’re on the right track. Low accident rates are good! Analysing trends over time can show where you may have problems and allows you to implement measures to correct them. However, there is a problem with using accident statistics to measure performance: It’s a reactive measure and cannot change what has already happened.
So, what can we do to prevent incidents before they occur?
One of the best ways of measuring health and safety performance is to look at what you’re doing now. Auditing is a proactive method to measure your performance which can be very effective in improving health and safety standards. Auditing may sound complicated, but it can be proportionate to your workplace’s requirements. There are different types of auditing and here’s a few examples:
- Safety tours are a simple walk around your premises noting areas for improvement or good performance. They can be long or short depending on time constrains and can cover the whole premises or just a small portion. Where possible problems can be resolved at the time or noted for later action.
- Health and safety inspections sound a little more formal but are really a safety tour where we create a more detailed report. Again, areas for improvement and good performance can be recorded. Photos can be used with a short description, action points, who is nominated to complete the action and by when. This is a great way of providing information in a format that is easy to digest.
- Health and safety audits are more formal yet. They can cover all areas of your business, including health and safety policies, risk assessments, work procedures and other documentation etc. Audits can be tailored to your business requirement and be specific to your industry. Generally, a formal report with recommendations for improvements is created. These may be carried out in-house by your own staff or you can enlist the help of ProAktive – Auditing is normally built into the service we offer our clients.
Auditing can be carried out by individuals or teams and be carried out on a planned cycle to cover all areas of your business. An effective auditing programme can involve all of your employees and is a great way of getting employees involved in health and safety.
Auditing does not necessarily require a lot of training, however attending a training course, such as the IOSH Managing Safety course, is ideal to provide background information and the skills required for carrying out simple audits in your workplace.
Whichever type of auditing you choose to carry out, auditing provides a proactive way to measure your performance and identify opportunities for improvement. Don’t forget to praise good performance as this is a great way of encouraging employees to work safely and can help to improve the overall health and safety culture in your workplace.
If you would like more information or some help you can contact us on 01302 341 344 or -0114 243 9914.
Ainslie Johnson Grad IOSH – Risk Consultant