What is Safety Mitigation?
Mitigating safety risks in the workplace is the employer’s responsibility. Whether you own a business or are the manager of a plant in a company, it’s important to take proper actions to mitigate safety risks. Workplace health and safety is a major focus for organizations across the globe, though there’s always room for improvement.
Workplace injuries have declined as a whole over the past couple of decades, mainly because of safety risk mitigation methods that require companies to take appropriate steps to improve workplace safety. Employers are now responsible under government acts, such as the OSH Act, to provide a safe and secure work environment, or risk fines or penalties.
Safety mitigation, also known as Safety Risk Mitigation (SRM), is defined as a systematic process that accounts for the availability and the overall effectiveness of defenses related to hazards, events, or any further consequences.
Why is Safety Mitigation Important?
Employers have a legal and moral obligation to ensure that they provide a safe environment for employees. In many high hazard industries, employers are responsible for taking appropriate measures, and for providing adequate training to their workforce.
By documenting these hazards and providing adequate safety measures, employers can improve safety standards and mitigate safety risks. This creates a safer work environment for all employees, and also reduces the business’ legal liability.
Businesses often take different approaches to mitigate safety risks, depending upon the industry. In most cases, organizations define safety risks as acceptable, tolerable, or intolerable.
Any risks that fall in the latter category are obviously unacceptable, and must be reduced and brought to acceptable levels. This way, any tolerable safety risks can be managed, as long as the organization implements appropriate mitigation strategies.
How to Mitigate Safety Risks
There are several steps that organizations can take to mitigate safety risks in the workplace. Some of these are defined below:
Clearly Outlining and Communicating the Company’s Health and Safety Policies
It is imperative for organizations to ensure that they communicate their safety policy to every employee in the company. This is all the more important for employees that are going to work on tasks that carry an elevated safety risk.
Companies can hold regular training sessions in order to ensure that the information remains fresh in every employee’s mind, and any new employees can also be brought up to speed.
More importantly, organizations must create an effective distribution channel to ensure that every employee has access to the policy. Organizations can post key information in prominent spaces, such as common rooms, the cafeteria, or prepare a safety handbook.
If the company is using a knowledge management system, all of the information can be stored within for proper distribution. Using a cloud-based solution that documents all safety policies is now widely popular, as it allows any employee to quickly access the information.
Identifying Hazards and Instituting Proper Safety Measures
It is also important for employers to identify all hazards in the workplace and outline their responses to bring them under acceptable levels. Any safety risk mitigation techniques used should be outlined with proper guidelines.
For instance, slip and fall accidents often result in the bulk of workplace injuries. Organizations can create a proper policy for making sure that the workspace remains secure.
For employees that engage in high-risk tasks, it is important for employers to outline all safety risks they are likely to face, and their appropriate responses. For instance, proper PPE should be available to all employees in case it’s needed.
The information should be readily available to all employees in case they need to revise some elements.
If there are any hazards that can be eliminated, employers should actively do so. For instance, if employees are performing certain activities at heights, employers should consider if they can perform some of these on the ground.
Or, in some cases, hazards can be substituted with less dangerous ones. For instance, employers should consider replacing hazardous substances or equipment with less dangerous alternatives.
Regularly Inspect and Document Any New Safety Risks or Hazards
Organizations must regularly inspect the workplace for any newly identified hazards, and update their records, including responses, accordingly. Reconciling any risks quickly is important, as it shows that the organization takes employee health and safety seriously.
There should be routine inspections held after regular intervals, and right after any workplace accident or an injury. If any new hazards are identified, they should be documented and employees should be notified.
From the flooring to the lighting, to the entrances or the stairways, or even the machinery in the workplace should be routinely inspected to identify any major safety risks.
Consider Health and Safety a Part of Company Culture
Adopting a safety-first culture within the organization is very important. It’s important for employees to know that despite the employer’s best efforts, workplace health and safety is impossible to enforce if employees do not actively consider it their responsibility.
It’s important for employers to clarify that workplace health and safety is the responsibility for each and every employee. If needed, employers also have the option of creating incentive-based programs for employees who follow protocols.
Employees should be up to speed with how to identify different hazards in the workplace and to respond appropriately. Educating employees and holding routine training sessions is a great way to reinforce this. You can also ask employees to give their feedback on different policies, and how they might improve on the company’s risk mitigation steps.
Establishing Safety Controls
Businesses should actively establish safety controls and take administrative measures, such as placing warning labels or posting signs at work to ensure that employees are aware of any potential safety risks or hazards in the workplace.
Use EcoOnline’s Health & Safety Software for Safety Mitigation
EcoOnline’s Health & Safety Software allows organizations to maintain a comprehensive record of all safety risks in the workplace. The modular software allows organizations to add more components if necessary, such as Incident Reporting Software Risk Assessment Software.