Safety in the workplace

Hi All, Compliments of the season and I hope that you had a safe and joyful festive season.

The start of 2013 has been an interesting one. I have found that businesses are keen to become compliant and minimize hazards in the workplace.

If any business owners or managers are interested in following the correct safety process to becoming compliant please follow the steps given below:

A safety audit and risk assessment needs to be carried out. the Safety audit will check the building structure such as evacuation routes, lighting and fire safety equipment. The audit will reveal if the structure and sites equipment are sufficient or if upgrading is necessary. A safety audit should be performed once a year and this can be done internally by a competent person.

The risk assessment looks at all of the activities in the work place and the risks associated with them. The risk assessment shall look at what safety measures should be in place to sufficiently protect the workforce.

Once the Safety audit and risk assessment is completed a safety file shall be created. The safety file will form the base of your safety system and will hold all of your written safety information. The safety file will consist of your safety appointments, the appontments would consist of your fire marshals, safety representatives etc. All of the relevent safety regulations and company SHE plans are to be kept in the file and access to this information shall be granted to anyone who is interested.

Evacuation plans and procedures are to be draw up and kept in the safety file. All of the safety checks, incident reports and master documents are to be kept in the safety file for when you need ot. Once the forms are used and filled out they shall be placed in the safety file as evidence of checks actually being done and of all findings.

Once the safety file is complete training shall be provided to the appointed safety staff. Training shall be provided in fire safety, evacuation procedures, safety representative duties and responsibilities, identifying safety hazards and first aid. Along with the training all of the findings of the risk assessment and the evacuation procedures shall be communicated to all staff.

Once all of the above is completed you and your staff are expected to carry out the following monthly and yearly practices in order to keep compliant. Your safety equipmen shall be checked monthly to ensure that it is still there and that it is unobstructed and compliant.

There should be area and safety checks done to ensure that the evacuations routes are clear, the housekeeping has been done correctrly and lighting and ventilation is still as it should be. A monthly safety meeting shall be held to discuss all findings, concerns and corrective measures.

The fire safety equipment shall be serviced every 12 months. there should be a service sticker on the equipment stating when the last servicee was carred out and when the next service shall be conducted.

A fire drill shall be done a minimum of once a year but in some industries it is recommended to be carried out every six months.

By following all of the above steps you are ensuring that your company is compliant, the risks in your workplace will be reduced and staff will be trained and prepared for the event of an emergency situation.

For any questions or further assistence please do not hesitate to contact me via the contact details supplied on our website.

All the best

Thinks safety


Why should you do a risk assessment and safety audit

Hi All,

I have been asked recently why is it essesnial to have a safety audit and do risk assessments, especially when some of the risks might seem obvious.

The truth is that even though risks are often obvious in any part of your lifestyle people seem to not accept the possible end results without proof from statistics, study results and laws to protect citizens.

If you take for example all of the silly things people do in south africa like running accress busy highways, drinking and driving and not wearing a seat belt in the car, all of these can easily end up as a fatal accident. Yet people continue to carry out these unsafe acts.

In an organisation much like having a house with kids, you must know what potential hazards exist in your environment and what the risk of these hazards are.

By doing this you are able to strategically plan the best measures to take in safeguarding your company and its employees. By doing the safety audit and risk assessment together you get an idea of what an effective and realistic plan is.

From a legal side you may be liable to be fined if an inspector notices any non compliaces.

Thanks for your time.

Think Safe


Usage of PPE

Hi All,

PPE, ( Personel Protective Equipment ), is vital in any organisation to assist with carrying out safety procedures and safeguarding all the staff members.

When dealing with PPE, you should provide training on how to use it, training on how to store it and training on why you need it and what it does.

To ensure that you are using the correct PPE, you should do a comprehensive risk assessment on all of the activities in the workplace. This will help in breaking down all of the risks by area and helping you prioritise the more severe risks.

Once you are certain about the risks that the staff are facing, you are able to buy and issue the correct PPE and compliantly safeguard the people in your organization.

Thanks for your time

Think Safe


Risk Assessments

Hi All,

With the rain in JHB lately it has got me thinking about risk assessments. As I tell all of my clients you dont realize that you do a number of risk assessments every day without realizing. When you cross the road, you look left and right before just leaping into the road, when driving a car you are concious of the indicator or wind screen wipers not working and even blowing on a hot cup of coffee before you take a sip. These are all risk assessments.

My next thought was what makes most people naturally stay away or avoid unsafe acts and the answer is simple. Growing up nature and knowledge has taught us to naturally avoid dangerous hazards.

I have come to the realization that because it is a work environment most people assume it is safe as it is their job and that the corporation has taken the necessary steps to avoid loss or damage.

The truth is knowledge and awareness are the backbone of an effective and safe work environment. If you are an employee or employer insist on discovering what risks may occur in your work space and push people to get involved and get training.

This is a skill you can use everywhere. Please contact me if you need any information of available and relevant training or if you have any safety concerns.

Thanks for your time. Keep safe and think safely.

All the best