How do you answer a question from a safety inspector such as "Where is your health and safety program manual?" or "Where is the safety documentation on this injured worker?" Don't know. Well, a safety inspector might answer you with a fine or even jail time for a business owner and manager. Recently a fine was issued for $70,000 to a greeting card shop's owner. The greeting card shop had no health and safety plan in place and had no formal safety training for employees. The employee was changing a simple light bulb and fell from a step stool. The employee was stepping on the top step marked "not a step" and lost her balance and fell to the floor. The solution is simple-to have step stools high enough to reach the light. A simple procedure on how to use and a signed training record would have prevented the fine and possibly the accident in the first place.
Setting a health and safety program, besides being required by law, in place will reduce costs. Having this program in place will reduce accidents and will lead to lower company worker's insurance premiums. The average claim for an injured worker is $68,000 that is billed to the company.
A working program will:
1) Improve employee morale-shows care in their well being
2) Reduce revenue loses-fewer accidents keeps employees working and reduces insurance premiums and also can lead to rebates on insurance
3) Give a boost to the customer-having fewer accidents means all employees are available for work
Writing a health and safety program is a huge and frustrating task. Where to start? ABB Safety Net can help. ABB Safety Net will a written plan with your company's name for your company. Secondly ABB Safety Net will provide a self hazard assessment for your company (nobody knows your company better than you). Further ABB Safety Net will research requirements for your region to make your program comply with legal requirements such as: "do you need a formal committee?", "need first aid training?", "what needs to be posted?", or even being "certified?"
Now, the written plan is ready what's next? You must live and maintain the plan. Documentation is everything for your and your employee's protection. ABB Safety Net will provide an employee's safety manual and a form to sign. ABB Safety Net will also provide simple forms for daily start-ups, monthly walk-throughs, quarterly meetings, and annual meetings. To aid in maintenance for your health and safety plan, ABB Safety Net will e-mail these forms as a reminder of the occurrences when they are due. ABB Safety Net will even e-mail a random fire drill to test for fire safety.
What happens when an accident does occur? With a working plan in place you will have all needed forms and you will have all documentation in place. You will even have an investigation procedure in place to aid in preventing the accident from occurring again. Just as in the greeting shop, an investigation would have taken place by you and not by the safety inspector. You would have come to the conclusion first and would have the report ready before the safety inspector stopped by.
Now, how would you answer these questions from a safety inspector "Where is your health and safety plan?" "Here is our plan that we are very proud of and our accident rate has almost become zero." "Where is the safety documentation of this injured worker?" "Here is all of the safety documentation of training. It was a misfortune that this accident did occur. Here is our accident investigation report and our conclusions on how to prevent this from occurring again."