Safety, Health, Environment and Quality: Top Tips for Employees

Keeping your employees safe in the workplace is a big responsibility. But a safe working environment needs to be a team effort – you and your employees need to work together to ensure safety, health, environment and quality compliance in the workplace.

Besides the rules and regulations around safety, health, environment and quality compliance to which you as employer are bound, you need to let employees also take ownership of ensuring that best practice is followed and that the safety, health, environment and quality policy is implemented. They should feel part of the effort to keep them safe.

Sharing these simple yet super-effective tips with your employees can help them to ensure that their safety, health, environment and quality work place is a safe one.

Understand the risks

You need to look at all the machinery, equipment, environments, materials, situations and physical structure of your workplace to understand what the safety, health, environment and quality risks are – only by understanding that something could cause harm or injury will you be able to treat it as such. The smallest, most innocuous thing can cause a lot of harm, even something as silly as hot coffee from a machine or a few drops of oil on the floor in a dark corridor.

Be alert and aware of your surroundings

You should always be aware of any potential safety, health, environment and quality hazards around you and avoid them where possible. Steer clear of machinery and always look where you are going.

Know how to use tools and machinery

Make sure that you are trained in operating a piece of equipment or machinery before you touch it. Ignorance can cause injuries to both yourself and those around you.

Use tools and machinery for its intended purposes

Also be aware of the right way to use equipment – don’t use something for any other purpose or in any other way than it is intended. Make sure you have all the right tools you need before you start a task.

Ensure easy access to emergency shut-offs

In case of a malfunction or an accident involving a piece of machinery, you need to be able to shut off the power supply to the machine as soon as possible.

It’s simple: improve safety, health, environment and quality compliance by encouraging employees to identify potential hazards and unsafe behavior, as well as providing opportunities for them to contribute to improvements in safety, health, environment and quality.

Know where safety and emergency equipment is

Fire extinguishers and fire blankets form part of standard safety, health, environment and quality equipment and are required to be installed and available by law. Know where this equipment is, as well as where the panic button or general alarm activator is located in case you need to deal with a hazard or alert everyone to one.

Know your fire escape plan

Diagrams describing the fire escape plan should be placed all around the workplace so that you know where to go and how to get there safely and speedily in case of emergency evacuation.

Keep emergency exits clear

Remove any obstacles that might block emergency exits or make it difficult or dangerous to access them.

Wear the right PPE

Personal protection equipment is specially designed to improve safety, health, environment and quality and keep employees safer. Whether it’s a hard hat, protective gloves, goggles or safety boots – it might not be the most comfortable things to wear, but it can save your life.

Report potentials hazards and risks

If you identify anything that might pose a safety, health, environment and quality danger or could cause injury to you or your colleagues, report it to your supervisor immediately.

Keep the correct posture

This safety, health, environment and quality tip is applicable from the factory floor to the front office. It is as important to always keep the correct posture when doing physical work such as lifting heavy objects as it is to sit with your back straight and your shoulders in line with your hips when working at a desk.

Use equipment where necessary

Use equipment such as a forklift or a trolley to lift and carry heavy objects instead of trying to lift and carry it yourself; use a ladder to reach an object that is stored in a high place instead of standing on a box or stepping on a shelf.

Take regular breaks

When your concentration wavers accidents are more likely to happen, so take regular breaks to stay fresh and alert.

Reduce stress in the workplace

Long hours, exposure to danger, heavy workload and job insecurity can cause stress, which in turn can lead to loss of concentration and depression. Identify any safety, health, environment and quality risks at work and discuss potential solutions with your supervisor.

Avoid drinking and drugs

Alcohol and drugs can cause limited concentration, impaired motor skills and diminished mental ability. Basically, if you are under the influence, you become the safety, health, environment and quality hazard.

Know your rights

If you feel that your work environment is unsafe, you have the right to speak to your supervisor, who then has to escalate this to the safety officer – they are then responsible for removing the safety, health, environment and quality risk. No one can force you to work if you aren’t safe.

It’s simple: improve safety, health, environment and quality compliance by encouraging employees to identify potential hazards and unsafe behavior, as well as providing opportunities for them to contribute to improvements in safety, health, environment and quality.