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15 Key Things To Help You Go Beyond Ticking Boxes To Be Safe

How to proactively go beyond ticking boxes

When rebranding Ligtas, we looked at things like our corporate values. Innovation, excellence, and leadership in all we do and how we bring value to our clients.

The net result was these two statements:

  • Health and safety expertise - for people who care about health and safety
  • You can’t keep people safe by ticking a box

Both speak volumes about how we approach our business and ensuring that our services are designed to go beyond ticking boxes so that our clients can say they are safe.

It’s not just in Health & Safety that companies tick boxes to be compliant. We can see that by the number of prosecutions across all industry types. Head to the HSE website, and there are pages and pages. We also know that companies that proactively go beyond ticking boxes create safer and healthier workplaces and environments for their building occupants.

While both approaches may technically meet compliance requirements, there’s a big difference in the outcomes for the company, its employees, residents and other stakeholders.

Ticking boxes to be compliant may seem like an easy and quick solution, but it can be costly in the long run, like this one where a company was fined £146k after a joiner was crushed to death by a 20-tonne excavator

Compliance is the minimum standard

Compliance is the minimum standard, and simply meeting it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing everything possible to protect your employees, building occupants and your business. And what does it say about your brand and reputation if something happens?

On the other hand, proactively going beyond ticking boxes can yield significant benefits. It means that you’re taking an intelligent and comprehensive approach to health and safety and are committed to creating a safe and healthy environment. This approach can result in reduced injuries, accidents, potential fines or worse.

Going beyond ticking boxes also shows your commitment to your stakeholders. It demonstrates that you value their health and well-being and are willing to invest in creating a safe and healthy environment. This can help to build trust, loyalty, and positive relationships with everyone concerned.

Getting started

So, how can you go beyond ticking boxes and create a proactive health and safety program? Here are a few key steps:

Understand the legislation

We say this every time. Being ignorant of the law is no excuse. Luckily, Ligtas understand the legislation, so if you are unsure, ask us.

Building safety is crucial for the well-being of building occupants. Failure to comply with safety regulations and provide adequate safety measures can result in serious injury or even death.

Building owners and facilities managers have a duty of care to ensure the safety of occupants, and failure to do so can result in legal consequences. Get a copy of our Building Safety Act Checklist.

Develop a comprehensive health and safety plan that goes beyond compliance requirements

It is not enough for building owners and facilities managers to merely comply with safety regulations. They must also be proactive in identifying and mitigating potential safety hazards. This involves regular safety audits and risk assessments, as well as implementing safety measures that go above and beyond what is required by regulations. Again if you need clarity, we are here to support you.

Implement an effective fire safety strategy

An effective fire safety strategy involves providing adequate fire detection and suppression systems and ensuring that building occupants are trained in fire safety procedures. This should include regular fire drills and clear and concise fire evacuation plans. We have a series of webinar replays that will help you get more clarity.

Ensure that all equipment is regularly maintained

Regular maintenance of equipment is essential for ensuring its safe operation. Therefore, building owners and facilities managers should ensure that qualified professionals regularly inspect all equipment. Download a copy of our equipment checklist and return it to enquires@ligtas.co.uk, and one of our consultants will call you to discuss any areas you need support.

Get a copy of our equipment checklist Download

Ensure that all staff are trained in safety procedures

Provide regular training and education for employees and management. Consider including cleaners and maintenance workers. This should include training in emergency evacuation procedures, as well as training in the safe operation of equipment and machinery.

Ligtas offers a wide range of training courses (classroom and online) that will support your training plan.

Regularly review and update safety procedures

Regular review and update of safety procedures is essential for ensuring that the building remains safe for occupants. Therefore, building owners and facilities managers should review safety procedures regularly and update them as necessary to reflect changes in the building’s occupancy, use, or layout. This may include updating fire evacuation plans or revising cleaning and maintenance procedures. Feedback, as they say, is the breakfast of champions…

Engage with building occupants

Engaging with building occupants is essential for identifying potential safety hazards and addressing any concerns that occupants may have. Building owners and facilities managers should encourage building occupants to report any safety concerns or hazards and provide a clear and accessible reporting mechanism. This may include a safety hotline, an online reporting system, or regular safety meetings.

Create a culture of health & safety

Building a culture of health and safety requires commitment, involvement, and investment. By prioritising the well-being of employees and building a culture that values safety, businesses can create a more productive and engaged workforce while reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.

Challenge existing safety measures

How prepared are you to challenge your existing safety measures? The challenge starts with what you believe is safe. So the first question is – how do you know that you are really safe? You can read more in our article here.

What else?

Conduct regular safety drills and train occupants on emergency procedures

Fire drills are a tried and tested way of enabling premises to practice their written evacuation plans that date back over 60 years to the midst of early modern fire safety legislation.

Regular safety drills and training occupants on emergency procedures are critical to building a safe and prepared environment. Emergencies can happen anytime, and being prepared can make all the difference in saving lives and minimising damage.

As well as a practice and learning opportunity for all staff, regardless of whether they have a fire evacuation related role or not, if drills are monitored by trained observers, they are also an opportunity to identify any training needs, bad habits and whether the procedures as written remain effective or require amendment.

Provide clear signage

Clear signage is essential for ensuring occupants can navigate the building safely. This may include directional signage, hazard warning signs, and emergency exit signs. Signage should be clear and concise and regularly reviewed and updated as necessary.

Provide adequate lighting

Adequate lighting is essential for ensuring building occupants’ safety, particularly in stairwells and emergency exits. Therefore, building owners and facilities managers should ensure that all areas of the building are well-lit and that any faulty lighting is replaced promptly.

Implement effective security measures

Effective security measures are essential for ensuring the safety of building occupants. This may include the provision of CCTV, access control systems, and security guards. And, of course, ensure all security personnel are trained.

Implement effective cleaning and maintenance procedures

Effective cleaning and maintenance procedures are essential for ensuring the building remains safe and hygienic. While this is naturally the role of the cleaning and maintenance staff. Other building occupants must be informed of the issues arising from blocked fire doors, corridors and stairwells. It is easy to simply walk past rubbish if you see it daily.

Have a plan in place for severe weather or natural disasters

While the UK is not expecting any hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, having a plan in place for severe weather or natural disasters is essential for any organisation. Severe weather events can occur suddenly and without warning. Having a plan in place can reduce the risk of injury or death, minimise property damage, and maintain business continuity.

Regularly inspect and maintain the roof and building structure to prevent leaks or collapse

Regularly inspecting and maintaining the roof and building structure is crucial for ensuring the safety and integrity of any building. A well-maintained building structure can prevent leaks, collapse, and other structural issues that could cause injury or damage to property. We would also emphasise the importance of roof voids inspections.

Ticking Boxes vs Proactivity

As we have stressed before, ticking boxes simply ensures the building complies with safety regulations. Proactivity, on the other hand, involves regularly reviewing and updating safety procedures, identifying potential safety hazards, and implementing safety measures that go beyond what is required by regulations.

However, just meeting minimum standards is not enough to ensure the safety and well-being of employees and customers. Going above and beyond compliance is crucial for creating a safe and healthy environment that promotes productivity and success.

If going above and beyond compliance meets with your values, and you want to create a culture of safety that benefits all, call Ligtas today.

Let’s make 2023 the year that we all go above and beyond compliance to ensure a safer and healthier environment for everyone.

Where do you want to go today?