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On Your Marks, Get Set……….

  • 13 April 2016 - 14:13

    It‘s Olympics year,

    ‘a year full of hope and promise, one where I can sail ahead of my competitors’
    Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, Calgary 1988

    OK, so it doesn’t always work out, and that was the winter Olympics…. but we are heading into a bright summer and hopefully a bright year.

    But to get there we need to look at the here and now. The festivities have passed and are probably long forgotten. January and February are often regarded as the months when morale is low and people feel under pressure financially. Even in March minds can often be off the job. In fact, some people don’t want to be at work at all. This is a time when stuff can happen, people don’t concentrate, mistakes can occur.

    Not all these mistakes lead to accidents but they all can have an effect on your bottom line, whether it is loss of production, faulty goods supplied or poor customer interface.

    So what to do?

    I want to focus on the health and safety side of things, but following some of my tips should improve your overall business performance.

    Work inspections: Get your team together and, as a group, have a 20–30 minute walk around the workplace to see what’s good and also where improvements can be made. Challenge your employees to make small improvements. If a team of 10 people each made one small improvement a day, by the end of the week there would be 50 improvements made, after a month 200 and this time next year 2,400. What a difference that would make. Remember to re-enforce the good practice and sort out the issues.

    Plan for the year ahead: Our Olympic stars started planning for this year after their success in 2012; they have been at it for four years. So what do you want to achieve? It may be improved employee competence, better standards of housekeeping, accreditation with Contractor Vetting, PICS, CHAS or Achilles, or just a greater awareness. Whatever you want, it works better if you have a plan. I believe doing little and often works best; set targets for each quarter and stick to them.

    Review: When did you last look at your health and safety policy, fire risk assessment or workplace rules? Are they still relevant? And do your employees understand what is expected? Consider a couple of hours health & safety awareness training. Cover the basics, keep it simple and to the point, but give them a chance to raise issues.

    Finally, empower your work colleagues to make the right call. Introduce a fair blame process, and if people come to you with issues or problems, or examples of poor practice, then support them to get things right. Encourage them to say NO if they feel at risk or are unhappy with the health and safety controls in place. However, If people get caught doing things poorly or are putting themselves or their colleagues at risk, take appropriate action.

    If you would like a monthly health and safety checklist or business plan template, please drop me a line at: [email protected]; or call 07799 656303.  

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