Businesses today operate in an increasingly competitive and complex environment. In order to thrive in such an environment – especially in the manufacturing, mining, construction, agricultural, and logistics sectors (amongst others) businesses must take into account the strategic imperatives of ensuring that workers remain injury-free and that the risks associated with day-to-day operations are minimised. This is why safety management, including the development of world-class policies and procedures, as well as ensuring monitoring of the work environment and training have become important contributing factors to the success of these (and other) businesses.
One of the key components in providing effective safety management procedures and minimising risk is a hazard analysis. Those supplying hazard and risk analysis services are experienced in analysing the various factors that can contribute to worker injury. It is only through using formal approaches to this sort of analysis and the generation of extensive reports that the potential hazardous practices and physical operational environmental dangers can be identified and addressed. Such analysis must include site inspections which are essential if the reports that are generated are going to provide that all-important return on investment – and effectively mitigate risk.
Once the analysis has been completed then systems can be set in place and safety management plans developed. The development of such plans is pivotal to the ongoing analysis process- and ensuring that production and operations can be optimised as far as downtime is concerned – and potential employee harm can be avoided – or at least the possibility of such harm minimised. It is of vital importance that such plans conform to the legislative and legal requirements governing the sector within which the business operates. This is one of the reasons that the qualifications and experience of the company supplying the safety management and analysis services need to be carefully analysed prior to selection.
Even the most professional reports and mitigation strategies will not provide the peace of mind and operational effectiveness that are the hallmarks of a professional approach if they are not complemented by staff training. The human resources of the operation are an essential cog in the safety machine – without proper health and safety training, all the planning and procedures will simply not be effective. Most professional safety management advisors will offer on-site training or the option of training staff at the service providers’ premises. Often the two approaches can dovetail to ensure the effectiveness of the training programs. Today there are also e-Learning options available that can complement training in the bricks-and-mortar world.
However, the real world is often unpredictable, even if the most stringent safety protocols have been set in place. It is unfortunate that accidents do happen even after the most meticulous approaches to safety management. In these cases, the service provider should be able to offer forensic services that will further improve the safety environment – and in more serious cases ensure that the required reporting to regulatory bodies is undertaken in accordance with requirements.
Safety management is a strategic imperative not only due to the fact that it protects workers from injury – but that operational efficiency and therefore productivity is ensured – while at the same time ensuring that the company is not exposed to either litigation or regulatory action that can negatively affect the bottom line.