In my previous post I talked about how important Safety and Health Representatives are to improving safety in the workplace.
To help facilitate this, elected Safety and Health Representatives have several very important functions. One of these is for Safety Reps to inspect the workplace with prior notice every 30 days. In practice, Safety Reps will discuss with the employer the number and type of inspections to be carried out.
These inspections are a really great opportunity for the employer to continually improve safety. There is always something identified during an inspection which can be improved.
Regular inspections not only help keep standards in place but help continually improve workplace safety. From my experience you very rarely hit a point of equilibrium. I find that workplace safety is either improving or declining. The trick is to keep it on an upward tangent.
By openly and actively supporting Safety and Health Representative undertaking workplace inspections, employers are demonstrating their commitment to safety.
One thing to keep front of mind, however, is that the hard work can easily be undone if the issues identified during the inspections are not addressed in timely manner, on that employees would see as reasonable.
Some items can be dealt with quickly and they should be. By ensuring this happens, employers send a strong message to the workforce that they’re committed to safety. Other items may take time such as implementing engineering controls or acquiring new and better equipment. What is critical is to communicate openly and clearly with the workforce, and to ensure timelines and commitments are met.
Actively engaging with the Safety and Health Representatives is one of the most effective and simple ways for employers to ensure safety is employed in the workplace. Safety Reps really are that important.