1st December, 2022
Health and safety advice doesn't have to be confusing or complicated. Mostly, health and safety is just common sense. Sure, there are laws and regulations you need to comply with. But ultimately, it's about keeping you safe. Here's some of the shortest health and safety advice you will ever get.
Do you find health and safety confusing, complicated, and hard to understand? This blog post is for you!
Ok, ok, I'll admit - some health and safety regulations can be a little wordy - there's a reason we have so many acronyms and abbreviations in health and safety. We're always trying to shorten those lengthy phrases down and make them easy to remember - and it's not always easy!
But if you take health and safety back to its core - it's about keeping people safe. Mostly, health and safety is just common sense. Sure, there are laws and regulations you need to comply with, but ultimately, it's about keeping you safe - and healthy.
So we set ourselves a challenge. Instead of lengthy explanations and wordy requirements, provide health and safety advice in just three words (or less!).
Three. Words. Maximum.
And we came up with quite a few! If you think of any more and want us to add yours to the list, let us know.
Check out this list below - it might just be some of the shortest health and safety advice you will ever get!
Let's take a closer look at what each 3-word phrase means for health and safety.
Health and safety shouldn't be an add-on - it should be part of everything you do and considered with every decision.
Step 1 of your 5 steps to risk assessment - identify hazards. Keep spotting hazards.
A risk assessment isn't something you should file away and forget about. Risk is never zero, so assessing risk should be a continual process.
Mistakes happen, but if you learn from them and stop them from happening again, you can prevent harm. Look at near-miss reporting.
If you're not sure how to do something or need help to do it safely, ask for help. Teamwork makes the dream work!
No accident is unavoidable. But failing to prepare is preparing to fail (it's true!). Make sure you plan your work so you can complete it safely.
If you see something wrong, even if it's nothing to do with you, report it. You may just save a life.
PPE is your last line of defence should something go wrong. But it can't help you if you're not wearing it!
Beneath the rules, regulations and red tape, safety is really about common sense. Don't put yourself in danger.
No one will memorise the entire contents of a 50-page legal document, but they will remember a clear and simple health and safety message.
Cutting a corner might speed up your work, but it's also the fastest way to have an accident.
It is estimated that around 80% of accidents can be attributed, at least in part to human error. Keep focused.
Don't just focus on negatives, like accident rates. Work towards a positive target, like the number of hazards spotted, controls in place, or safety ideas.
Realistic and achievable goals are a great incentive and help keep your team motivated for safety.
Always start a new project or site with an induction. Highlight the most important safety rules and arrangements.
Daily - or at least weekly - toolbox talks help refresh knowledge in between longer, more formal training courses.
Check tools, materials, and equipment for defects and failures to make sure they are safe to use.
Equipment might start safe, but it needs to be maintained to stay safe. What good is a guard that no longer closes or a stop switch that doesn't work?
The one day you don't, could be the last day you do.
Mistakes are complex and can happen for several reasons. Make sure you understand the risks and know the rules, and that knowledge is up to date.
Risks that cannot be eliminated should be controlled to an acceptable level.
A close shave today could be a fatality tomorrow- near-miss reporting can stop accidents. For every 90 near misses, an accident will occur.
The best way to control risk is to eliminate it entirely. Can you do the work a different (safer) way?
Instructions are there for a reason, to keep you safe. Follow them!
If in doubt, ask about it. Don't make it up as you go allow, that's how accidents happen.
Slips and lapses in focus can occur in highly trained procedures where the person does not need to concentrate on what they are doing. They usually happen during a familiar task. That's when mistakes happen.
Working in cold environments can slow your reactions and increase the risks of accidents and mistakes. Keep warm and take regular breaks.
Know what risks you get exposed to - and minimise them.
Some health effects can take years to develop. The damage from asbestos, vibration, noise etc happens over time. Recognise the early warning signs.
There are loads of reasons to wear and use PPE. Make sure you replace PPE when needed, and check that it fits and is compatible with any other equipment you use.
Planning ahead means you can look for ways to do the job safely and without health risks.
Paperwork and forms will not save you. Good health and safety practices will.
Health and safety is the superhero of management. Fighting hazards to keep you alive and well!
If you don't work safely today, you might not get to go home tonight.
Your life (and health) is worth the extra time or resources you need to work safely.
Health and safety rules are not there to get broken - neither are you. Broken rules can mean broken bones.
Take a moment to think about safety, and keep safety at the front of your mind.
Unsafe acts put you and others in danger. They could cost you your job - or your life.
Start a safety talk to discuss a topic and share knowledge and ideas.
Listen, learn, collaborate. Put your thoughts forward, and help improve health and safety in your workplace.
Remember that health and safety course you attended ten years ago? Things have probably changed since then!
Safety hazards are instant and dramatic - the drama queens stealing the spotlight for our attention. So make sure you remember health risks too, they might not be as immediate as safety risks, but they are just as important. Put the health back into health in safety!
Regulations change, and technology advances. Make sure you have the most up-to-date information.
Be aware of the hazards and risks around you while you are working.
Health and safety is more than a business requirement, you need it too.
Don't forget about your health. To get the most out of life, you need to stay healthy.
Maintain a healthy work-life balance, and protect yourself so you can perform at your best in all aspects of your life.
Protect your life - you only get one.
Safety shouldn't just come first. It should always be a consideration. Think about health and safety at the start, during, and after.
Because that is what health and safety is all about.
This article was written by Emma at HASpod. Emma has over 10 years experience in health and safety and BSc (Hons) Construction Management. She is NEBOSH qualified and Tech IOSH.
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