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Health and Safety Policy Checklist For Work

Learn how to ensure safety and health in the office, why this is important, and how to create a sustainable culture of security at your workplace. Protect your company with Lumiform’s free, digital workplace health and safety checklists and templates!

Why Is a Health and Safety Policy Checklist Necessary?

The Occupational Safety and Health Act is regulated by the authorities and includes requirements for ensuring safety and health at the workplace. Failure to comply with this obligation can lead to legal consequences, such as possible imprisonment, serious fines, weighty compensation payments, or even permanent company closure.

Below, is a brief overview of OSHA’s Act of 1970:

  • Employers are responsible for and obligated to take certain organizational measures to avoid work accidents and health hazards.
  • Labor protection offers measures and structural means to avoid or minimize risks and hazards in the workplace. These include: technical safety, industrial hygiene, occupational medicine, and work organization.
  • Occupational health & safety is a goal that is achieved through the entirety of occupational safety measures.
  • The three most important duties of workers are to ensure health and safety at work, including carrying out risk assessments, requiring workers to follow safety practices correctly, and providing emergency measures (first aid, emergency plan).

With the help of an occupational health and safety checklist, the implementation of safety practices within a company is attainable. Responsible employees keep better track of accidents as well as the overall health situation. This ensures compliance with safety regulations as well as keeping flawless documentation.

In this article you will find all the important information and practical tips on the subject of health and safety at work.

This article covers the following topics:

1. Factors that affect occupational safety and health

2. Strategy for improved occupational health and safety

3. People responsible for workplace safety

4. Occupational safety non-compliance

5. Dangers lurking in the office: the top 6 risks.

6. List of the top most risky jobs

7. Digital checklists and questionnaires

Construction worker complies with new health and safety policy at work

What Factors Influence a Health and Safety Policy?

Occupational safety is not only an obligation for employers; they also have a moral responsibility to their staff. Damage avoidance should, therefore, always be considered the company’s highest priority. To do this, occupational safety specialists, company doctors, and safety officers should always keep these in mind when evaluating and implementing safety measures. Factors must first be distinguished between those that affect mental health, and those that affect physical health.

The following definitions will help you as an employer to understand the scope of your responsibilities:

Labor protection

Labor protection includes measures to prevent accidents at the workplace and work-related health hazards, including measures to make work more humane. It stipulates that these measures are first and foremost made possible by technical and organizational means independent of employees. The six most relevant preventive means are:

  • Technical safety, i.e. the use of safe technical work equipment
  • Industrial hygiene, e.g. the safe handling of substances hazardous to health
  • Occupational medicine, i.e. the occupational medical precautionary measures
  • Ergonomics, i.e. a humane design of the working environment and processes
  • Work Organization, i.e. a structure consisting of a competent occupational safety organization and responsible persons, the regulation of work processes and appropriate, and comprehensive training of employees

Psychological stress at work should receive as much attention as the aforementioned physical factors. Noise, poor room climate, and stress with colleagues can have a psychologically stressful effect on employee. Other stress factors can include a workload, working hours, or inadequate managerial qualifications. All of these psychological stresses must be counteracted.

What is the Difference Between Occupational Health and Safety?

While occupational safety and health define certain measures to ensure security at work, the overall objective of these measures is what is known as occupational safety. These regulations and structures, which ensure the safety of employees, are explained in more detail below.

What Does Occupational Safety Involve?

The six key means of structuring the workplace to ensure the health and safety of staff have already been identified. You can now find out which specific duties you have as an employer to fulfill in order to ensure occupational safety:

The Three Premises of Work Safety

1. Risk Assessment

The job safety analyses (JSA) efforts in your company start with a comprehensive and regular assessment of the workplace risks. What are the risks and hazards in the workplace and during work processes? How can these be stopped or minimized?

A detailed evaluation and analysis of the working environment allow safe work processes to be defined and structural changes and corrective measures to be implemented. These should never be individual corrections. Safety should always be continuously reviewed as the highest priority goal.

2. Sensitization of Employees

An additional duty of employers is to check that employees comply with safety practices. While employers can provide comprehensive training and, if necessary, equip personnel with personal protective equipment (PPE), it is ultimately up to the employees themselves to ensure that they carry out the prescribed work properly. As an employer, you are, therefore, obliged to check that employees comply with safety practices and inform them regularly about risks, dangers, and changes in procedures, etc.

3. First Aid Help

After all, not only preventative measures are sufficient to ensure occupational safety. In case of an emergency, it is important to be prepared. For this purpose, safety officers must be trained in first aid practices, and a complete first aid kit must be available at all times. The completeness of the first-aid kit and the competence of the safety officers should be checked regularly. Additionally, there should be an emergency action plan along with the regular practice of emergency drills.

Who Is Responsible for Safety at Work?

Employers are primarily responsible for occupational health and safety within the company. Therefore, the structural assurance of safety practices and a decent working environment is their responsibility and can be implemented by safety teams and responsible persons. As already mentioned, it is expressly necessary in addition to risk assessments and the establishment of safe work processes to carry out regular checks on compliance with these regulations through staff training, provision of PPE, etc.

What Happens if Occupational Health and Safety is not Observed?

As long as personnel have been sufficiently trained and sensitized to risks and dangers, individual employees are responsible for the proper execution of their work. If an employee refuses to take safety concerns into consideration, then this is a sufficient reason for a warning. Repeated misconduct should also lead to the dismissal of the employee.

Worker adhering to health and safety regulations by wearing a hazmat suit

What Dangers Should I be Aware of in the Office?

The office as a workplace initially appears to be a relatively harmless and risk-free environment, but there are a number of aspects to consider in an office risk assessment:

  1. Strong Temperature – Is the temperature in midsummer comfortable? Are roller shutters and air conditioners used? Are rooms sufficiently heated in winter? Ask your team.
  2. Air Quality – Are rooms sufficiently ventilated?
  3. Noise – Are employees protected from possible noise, or can it be minimized?
  4. Accidents – are there risks and dangers in the working environment where accidents can occur?
  5. Biological Hazards -(moulds, spores, pathogenic micro-organisms, waste, blood, or similar, drugs/cytotoxic substances) – Are these hazards minimized and used according to PPE?
  6. Ergonomics – Are ergonomic working possibilities created?

What Are Particularly Risky Jobs?

The following work is one of the most dangerous technical working environments in terms of health and safety and is increasingly regulated by the state. These jobs require strict adherence to safety practices because basic risk cannot be avoided as it’s inherent to the position:

  • Work with explosives
  • Working with asbestos
  • Working with biological agents
  • Working with X-ray equipment
  • Working on construction sites

Digital Checklists for Better Health and Safety Policy

Paper-based methods in occupational safety and health can be time-consuming and difficult to keep track of. By using Lumiform’s mobile app, paper documents can be digitized and workflows can be automated to facilitate data collection and documentation.

Safety inspections are conveniently completed on-site with the digital tool via smartphone or tablet – online or offline. Issues are reported in the blink of an eye while the inspection is still in progress and quickly assigned to responsible colleagues. The easy communication with all team members makes it possible to improve internal processes and solve occurring occupational health and safety incidents up to four times faster.

Use Lumiform to improve health and safety at work and reap the following benefits:

  • Each individual paper health and safety policy form transforms into a digital checklist in minutes thanks to the flexible form builder.
  • Get started immediately with a pre-made template from the Lumiform library
  • All audit results are automatically bundled into one report and sent instantly.
  • Comprehensive analyses uncover deficient areas in the company more quickly and thus continuously improve audit processes.
Try Lumiform for free

Worker wears protective clothing during larbor work

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