Effective safety leadership, COSHH assessments and designing a bully-free workplace

Effective safety leadership improves employee safety behaviour by as much as 86 percent and can independently reduce lost time and minor injury frequency rates by around 35%. Good safety leadership creates better business continuity and increases productivity by avoiding incidents, accidents, breakdowns and process failures. Safety leadership can underpin reductions in insurance premiums of around 30% and improvements in standing and reputation among suppliers, clients and partners. Effective safety leadership supports better all-round economic performance.

Many substances that are health hazards may appear obvious, such as chemicals and radiation, but you should also be aware that other substances can be harmful. Chemicals will have labels to warn you of their toxicity and danger, but other dangers include fumes and dust from sanding wood or from cutting silica. Bacteria also pose threats, and asbestos still appears in older buildings and should be removed safely. In terms of health and safety, you must protect your employees from the potentially dangerous consequences of handling, manufacturing or being in areas where there are hazardous substances.

In the UK, material handling equipment reportedly causes 1,500 injuries per year so it is imperative that regular forklift safety training and full vehicle maintenance is conducted. Forklift trucks play a key role in most working environments, improving logistics and streamlining processes for all manner of business operations. Accident prevention should be at the forefront of your mind, and proper training will ensure that all staff follow best practice whether they operate machinery themselves or work alongside those who do. Safety advice for forklift drivers.

Workplace bullying remains a serious problem in many Australian workplaces, costing individuals and organisations in poor productivity, absenteeism and mental stress. Panellists Commissioner Peter Hampton, Bernadette Nicol-Butler and Dr Michelle Tuckey explore how to design a bully-free workplace, focusing on prevention and early intervention. They identify the risk factors contributing to bullying, offer tools to assist organisations and outline the changes required to develop an organisational culture where workers feel safe to voice their concerns.

Sex refers to the biological differences between men and women, whereas gender refers to the socially constructed characteristics of women and men such as norms, roles, and relationships of and between groups of women and men. These relations influence people’s susceptibility to different health conditions and diseases. They affect employment of good mental- and physical health, and levels of well-being. These relations also have a bearing on people’s access to and uptake of health services and on the health outcomes they experience throughout the life-course.

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Main image: Linde Material Handling

 

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