As a business owner, you want to ensure the safety of your workers and prevent incidents from happening in the workplace. Creating the right culture of safety in your organisation is the key to achieving this goal. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of hazard identification and risk assessment in creating a culture of safety.
Hazard and Risk Assessment
Hazard and risk assessment is the process of identifying potential hazards in the workplace and assessing the risks associated with them. This process helps you to understand the potential dangers your workers may face and take steps to eliminate or mitigate those hazards. By undertaking regular assessments, you and your workers can ensure that your workplace is safe for everyone.
In New Zealand, all businesses are subject to the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. This act requires the following:
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, risks to health and safety must be eliminated so far as is reasonably practicable. If a risk can’t be eliminated, it must be minimised so far as is reasonably practicable (details of this can be found in the “introduction to Introduction to the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 – special guide”.
This means that a business (or PCBU) must as best they can reduce the risk of harm to any worker by systematically assessing a risk and then putting in place mitigations to either eliminate the risk of harm or control that risk to an acceptable level.
By not undertaking these assessments a company places itself at a greater risk of prosecution or other things like enforceable undertakings by Worksafe NZ
Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment
Hazard identification and risk assessment is the process of identifying hazards in the workplace and assessing the risks associated with those hazards. This process involves looking at each task or activity performed by your employees and identifying any potential hazards associated with that task or activity. Once you have identified the risks, you can assess the hazards and the potential harm associated with those hazards and take steps to eliminate or control those hazards.
Creating a Culture of Safety
Creating a culture of safety in your organisation involves more than just conducting hazard and risk assessments. It requires a commitment from management over the long term to prioritise safety and make it a part of the company’s values and culture. Here are some ideas that you can use for creating positive safety cultures within your workplaces:
- Communicate the importance of safety to your workers: Make sure your workers understand the importance of safety and how it affects their safety and well-being.
- Provide training: Provide your employees with the necessary training to perform their jobs safely. This includes training on how to identify and control hazards within the task they are undertaking for you.
- Encourage employee participation: Encourage your employees to participate in the hazard and risk assessment process. This can help you identify hazards that may have been overlooked. This is also now a legal requirement under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
- Lead by example (walk the walk and talk the talk): Management should lead by example when it comes to safety. Make sure you are following all safety protocols and procedures when you are on the work site.
- Continuously improve: Creating a culture of safety is an ongoing process. Continuously review your hazard and risk assessment processes and look for ways to improve them.
To summarise, creating a culture of safety in your organisation is essential to preventing incidents and ensuring the well-being of your employees. Conducting regular hazard and risk assessments, complying with legal requirements for hazard and risk assessment in NZ, and using hazard identification and risk assessment are important steps in achieving this goal. By prioritising safety and making it a part of your company’s culture, you can create a safe work environment for your workers. If you need help in getting started contact us at Smart Safety Solutions. We provide smart solutions to business in Auckland and throughout NZ and would love to chat.