The safety of employees in the workplace should be a priority for every business owner, director, and manager. This is why most companies factor this into annual planning.
Generally, companies aim to meet health and safety responsibilities by earmarking money in the budget for the purchasing manager to buy safety equipment, as well as planning safety management programs throughout the year, usually led by the HSE manager.
Unfortunately, safety equipment and management programs are considered in some companies to be low priority, usually when the company is undergoing cost-cutting measures and opting to allocate their yearly budget to more ‘urgent’ areas.
The importance of health and safety shouldn’t be underestimated, and when planning for the year, all efforts should be made to properly invest in it. However, it is possible to improve and support workplace safety in a frugal way without significant expense.
Maintaining Workplace Safety on a Budget
1. Launch a Workplace Safety Campaign
Conducting a workplace safety campaign is one of the most creative and inexpensive ways to engage employees across the organization. When done right, carried out regularly and with proper interaction, you can create an easy and reliable avenue to encourage a culture of safety for managers and employees.
There are a few types of campaigns you can develop and carry out as part of your safety management framework. These include:
- Time-based campaigns - Time-based campaigns involve challenges and activities that employees need to complete within a specific period. For instance, the department that performed the higher number of documented safety-related activities within 30 days can win a prize. This type of campaign fosters friendly competition between employees and departments, making the safety campaigns both rewarding and enjoyable.
Performance-based campaigns - These campaigns are designed to build health and safety habits. To increase buy-in from employees, HSE Managers can conduct a forum where employees can share their concerns and observations in order to come up with an action plan.
Hazard-based campaigns - These campaigns are aimed at reducing or eliminating a specific type of risk in the workplace. HSE managers can assign a particular month or period every year to promote awareness on preventing a specific hazard.
To ensure full cooperation, managers should focus on one issue at a time. Instructions should be clear, and progress should be transparent.
2. Hire Experienced Workers
Employees with in-depth knowledge of the field and personal knowledge of safe work are assets to any company. Hiring experienced workers is especially crucial to industries that rely heavily on manual labour and fast-paced production outputs. The right people on the job can be counted on to quickly spot hazards and troubleshoot when necessary. These experienced workers can also assist the supervisors in drafting safety policies and orienting newcomers on safety procedures.
3. Review and Reinforce Existing Safety Policies
Regularly updating your company's safety policies is vital to a good health and safety culture. You should endeavour to make sure that your company’s safety policies are frequently reviewed and updated, such as incorporating newly-issued directives from Singapore's Ministry of Manpower or Workplace Safety Health Council. By including these kinds of directives in your policies, you are encouraging quicker dissemination of timely workplace safety information.
As part of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, one immediate action area for companies in Singapore is to ensure that they adhere to safety requirements mandated by the national government. You can look at this list for sector-specific requirements.
Remember, accessibility to safety and health information is the key to ensuring compliance. A manager should be able to get their hands on safety information at a moment’s notice. In support of this, make your safety policies easily accessible via a shared intranet site, with quick notification updates via email, memo, or via a collaboration app.
4. Provide Suitable Training
You should do what you can to make sure new company hires go through a comprehensive induction which includes workplace health and safety policies and regulations. This will equip them with correct guidance and the essential health and safety information they need to be successful at their job, which ultimately encourages a safe atmosphere for everyone involved.
Training could be spread out throughout the year to reinforce safe behaviour and skills or designed as refresher courses on new safety and health regulations.
5. Be Aware of the Most Common Workplace Dangers
Oversight is vital when it comes to workplace health and safety. Knowing the areas of the company which need immediate attention will allow proper allocation of safety funds, however limited they are.
This advice works best when paired with safety campaigns. Seek the input and cooperation of your employees, so they can identify and investigate workplace hazards. You can then create and launch a safety campaign based on your findings.
6. Conduct a Safety Audit
A safety audit will highlight gaps in your company’s overall safety management framework and will help you identify corrective steps to take immediately. These can be performed internally or by accredited auditors to provide an independent and objective audit of your operations.
Kee Safety Singapore is currently offering free safety audits to allow organisations to identify areas most in need of health and safety attention. We can work with you to provide the best, most affordable solution for your needs.
Uncompromised Safety While Being Budget-Friendly
Whatever your budget, employee wellbeing should still be front and centre. Through smart planning and creative and resourceful management, you can utilize existing resources to encourage a culture of health and safety within your organisation.
If your company works under a strict safety budget, you can take advantage of Kee Safety’s free site-visit service. Our team of experts will carry out a comprehensive survey and offer professional insight into potential workplace hazards, providing custom recommendations for cost-effective measures you can do to mitigate risks, close safety gaps and improve workplace safety in the long-run.
For more information, get in touch on +65 6385 4166, or by using our online contact form.