There are a number of resources available on-line with help and information related to developing a safety culture and safety program at your workplace. The best place to look is your respective state's code of practice or guide relating to Occupational Health & Safety . Common to all these documents is the recommendation for some type of safety committee, even if it is just one person in smaller workplaces. Establishing a safety officer that other employees can voice their concerns in regards to First Aid and safety issues is an important piece of the puzzle. The following topics are good area's to start when forming a safety committee or First Aid program.
It is always a good idea to form some type of safety committee at your workplace. Typically a safety committee will usually consist of employees that may be trained in First Aid or are willing to undertake some type of First Aid training in the future .These employees should know the business and its premises well. A safety committee will regularly meet and discuss safety and First Aid issues in the workplace. Minutes of the meetings should be kept and any action items should be addressed from the previous meeting. It is part of the safety committees job to discuss potential hazards and "talk up" safety around the workplace, which will help spread a safety conscious culture. The safety committee also acts as a touch point between management and its employees regarding safety.
Decide around the workplace what are the potential hazards and who may be in danger in the workplace. Does the business present unique hazardous situations based on the products they sell or the services they offer? Identifying the risks and brainstorming the issues with your safety committee put your workplace in good shape to deal with an emergency and may even prevent certain accidents from ever occurring.
Provide Training/Equipment (First Aid) From identifying the hazards in the previous step you are now informed to take action in attempt to eliminate the risk. This could be anything from rearranging the workplace, conducting safety or first aid training, or the purchase of equipment (first aid kits for example). Regarding First Aid, codes of practice will usually identify how many qualified First Aid staff you require to have on hand, depending on your industry and employee size.
Identifying the hazards or the potential hazards, then eliminating the risk, should be the process for every health and safety issue that requires attention. In addition to these steps there are additional processes that all successful safety committees have in common. Some of these processes are listed below
Documentation of any accidents or near misses may help identify problem areas in the workplace. It also provides a record of when/who/ where and how an injury has occurred.
Larger businesses will often conduct a safety induction for new employees. This is a great way to introduce new employees to the dangers that may be present in their new position and should not be unique to big business. A workplace or business is never too small for an accident to occur.
As management, First Aid training for example may seem expensive and a potential down time cost due to lost production. Depending on your size of business, you may be actually required by law to provide this training to at least a certain number of individuals. The cost of training is minuscule in comparison to an emergency that results in serious injury or the loss of life.
To reiterate, the above points are a summary of some of the issues a safety committee needs to think about. These issues need to be combined with other safety areas such as emergency evacuation procedures and fire warden training to create a complete program. First Aid should definitely be a big part of any safety program. There are many private companies in the market place that can help you set up a safety committee and advise you on OH&S best practices. All the information or advice on this page aims to be as accurate as we can reasonably make it. However, the information and advice is general and not necessarily applicable to your specific business or workplace. If a topic relates to your business or workplace, you should make sure you do your own research on how applicable and relevant the information or advice is to your particular situation.