6 Ways for Small Business to do Safety Better

16th April, 2015

When it comes to safety most people say they’re pretty good at it and put ‘Safety First’. Then when a big accident happens they are really surprised.  Not a week goes by in New Zealand where we don’t see or hear something in the news where someone has died or been seriously hurt.

Sadly we’re quick to forget when tragedy happens and we move on with our business. Why is that?  Because it’s hard to make it real to our personal situation. If you talk to anyone that’s had someone killed or seriously hurt at work they’ll tell you they never thought it would happen to them either, or to their family.

It’s the months or years of WorkSafe investigations, potential prosecutions, and coroner’s inquests that all make it very real, after the fact.

Normally the conversation starts with, if only they’d… and it’s followed closely by very basic, ‘common sense’ statements, that looking back are very hard to understand or rationalise. If only he’d attached his safety harness, if only he’d waited for some help, if only he’d worn a helmet, if only he’d been trained.

There are some really simple things that you can do in your small business to make it a whole heap safer.  Yip it’s a bit more work than saying “we take safety seriously”, or “safety first” but you’ll be much less likely to have to look back and say “if only”.

Here are 6 simple things you could include in your approach to doing safety that will make a real difference to how safe your business actually is:

1. Learn from your mistakes

Mistakes happen and people do get hurt, but it’s really important to learn from those mistakes, record them, talk with your staff about them and be reminded about them so it doesn’t happen again. Don’t just brush it off and forget.

2. Work together with your staff

If safety was a sport it would be a team sport. It’s really important that we work with one another so that we look out for each other. This way we can all have a say in our safety. No communication is dangerous.

3. Train your staff for the work they do

Simple really, if you have someone doing a job or using equipment, make sure they are trained for it, and that you can prove they are trained for it. Having non-trained people is just asking for trouble.

4. Keep your safety stuff all in one place

Having things in your office, in your car, on the computer, at home or in your pocket means that important information can get lost really easily. By keeping it all in one place like means that when you need something you know exactly where it is.

5. Know the big risks that jobs create

Risks are a part of everyday life, the jobs that we do have risks small or big. But rather than just going “I’ll be fine, it won’t happen to me,” we need to be aware of the risks and make sure we are doing things to manage them so we don’t get hurt.

6. Make sure your gear is safe

Love your gear like you love your people. Make sure your gear has got the right checks that prove it’s safe to use. This way you will know that when it is used that the gear is not going to cause any accidents or be a big risks to your staff.

The great thing about these 6 tips is that they all support running a great small business, and most importantly, keeping your most valuable assets happy and healthy.


This post was written by Zane Yates from PeopleSafe. For more on how you can help improve your workplace, PeopleSafe develop simple software to help you chip away at each area without having to get it all done in one big bang.