Nearly 90% of all accidents in the workplace is caused by unsafe acts by employees. That’s a lot. For obvious reasons, employee health and safety is a priority in any workplace. However, because it is part of legislation, many employees feel that the onus is on the employer to take the lead and the initiative and enforce the rules and regulations.
But therein lies the problem: most employers cannot be everywhere at once, and so inevitably there are instances where it is up to the individual employee to comply with SHEQ regulations without someone staring over their shoulders.
The problem remains, however, that whether or not the employee chooses not to comply with SHEQ regulations, the employer remains accountable.
This means that you need to have systems in place that ensures compliance, not only from an organisational point of view but also a self-motivational one.
You need to make the employees want to comply with SHEQ regulations. Now how to do that?
The majority of accidents can be ascribed to the fact that the employee either doesn’t know how to do the job safely or doesn’t want to. Through proper training and regular refresher courses, you can ensure that they know how to work safely. You can also encourage compliance through accreditation and acknowledgement of training completed and implemented.
While the carrot is preferential to the stick, it is important to ensure that you also have effective and sufficient disciplinary measures in place to encourage employees to comply with SHEQ regulations.
To ensure that your employees are first of all aware of the SHEQ rules and regulations as imposed by law and applicable to your specific work environment, add a health and safety clause to the contract of employment. This clause should include that “failure to adhere to health and safety regulations may lead to disciplinary action and/or possible dismissal.”
To discourage employees frim wilfully ignoring SHEQ policies and procedures, you might consider creating a penalty system. Make sure that employees are aware that they may be fined for not following SHEQ regulations. Also ensure that they are aware of the legal implications of ignoring SHEQ regulations. It’s important that these regulations are applied consistently and indiscriminately – the same rule and penalty system should be applicable to everyone.
Another way to encourage compliance to SHEQ regulations is to prevent employees from damaging the company’s PPE. Damaging PPE is considered a criminal offense so you need to ensure that employees are aware of the legal implications of not being SHEQ compliant. Any employee who is found to have damaged or broken PPE needs to be held accountable for the digression – remember that people’s lives depend on whether this equipment is 100% safe and working, so damaging or breaking it is tantamount to criminal negligence.
Ensuring SHEQ compliance in the workplace can be challenging. With the right SHEQ solution, you simply have to implement the management tool and the software will do the rest.