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Workplace safety: From top to bottom

Creating a safety culture within any organization starts with leadership. Effective leadership, and a plan to keep its workforce safe while on the job, enables and empowers employees to get the task done safely and go home healthy. Yet time and time again we see workplace accidents plastered across the news. So, what can be done to combat incidents on the clock?

Practice what you preach

Evaluate your organization’s leadership culture and its approach to individual safety. You must be able to walk the walk (and not just talk to the talk.) There are a number of toolbox talks, awareness campaigns and educational seminars designed to inform clients, workers, colleagues and the general public. Outline practical steps everyone can follow to ensure the plan is viable, and then equip the right people with the right skillset to make the plan happen. One tried and true way to start? A relevant and updated health and safety training course, such as what you can find on

Information sharing

Next, keep records of safety incidents, accidents, hazards and potential risks. A visual representation can often be extremely helpful for a workforce; showcasing how many hours, days, weeks – maybe even months – have passed since an incident or accident can boost morale and keep everyone on their toes. In addition to sharing information on problems discovered, there must be a plan in place to solve it. Ensure that the plan is executed.

Avoid unnecessary time-saving approach

“I don’t need to put that harness on, I’m only loading the boom onto the trailer.” That’s the wrong mentality. Catapult accidents from boom lifts can happen in the blink of an eye – a pothole or the lip of the trailer could send the operator out of the basket. Cutting corners (e.g. working without proper fall protection, not putting on eyewear or ignoring simple safety rules) for a few seconds isn’t worth it.

Workplace risk assessments

Before getting on any type of equipment for any type of jobsite, a risk assessment must be performed. From ground conditions and weather to selecting the right piece of equipment, performing a risk assessment will not only ensure hazards are avoided, but the safety of the entire time. Having a competent and qualified person in charge reduces any safety risk. If your organization lacks the right personnel to do so, it’s time to invest in a health and safety training course.

Points to remember

  •     Practice what you preach.
  •     Be open to sharing and acting on information.
  •     Avoid the unnecessary time-saving approach.
  •     Perform risk assessments regularly.
  •     Assign the right people for the right roles.