The 5 Components of Business Safety (and How to Achieve Them)

Last Updated: 

April 3, 2024

Safety is one of those things that, in business, can either be viewed as a box-ticking exercise or inform every single aspect of how you do business. There are still many old-fashioned business leaders who hate the idea of having to comply with every single thing. Whether it's an optional regulation like the ISO standards or health and safety, countless organisations can feel themselves bound by so much red tape that they feel restricted. The best approach is to have an understanding of what it takes to achieve this sense of safety. There are countless components at your disposal, so let's show you what these are and how you can best achieve them.

Key Takeaways on the Components of Business Safety:

  1. Safety Risk Management: Effective safety risk management involves identifying hazards, assessing associated risks, and implementing control measures to mitigate them.
  2. Safety Policies and Objectives: Clear safety goals, transparency, and integration of safety into company culture are essential for an effective safety management system.
  3. Safety Assurance: Monitoring safety performance, conducting inspections, analysing incident data, and establishing communication channels are crucial for ensuring continuous improvement in safety protocols.
  4. Safety Promotion: Encouraging feedback, effective communication, comprehensive safety education, and fostering a culture of shared responsibility are key aspects of safety promotion.
  5. Prepare for Emergencies: Developing emergency response plans, conducting drills, and ensuring trained personnel are vital for effective emergency preparedness and business resilience.
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Safety Risk Management

The key aspects of safety risk management fall into three main areas:

  • Identifying existing and potential hazards in the workplace.
  • Assessing and analysing the risk associated with those standards.
  • Implementing effective control measures to eliminate, minimise, or isolate the risks.

As we learn to manage risk effectively, we can progress further with a measured approach to safety. When we identify potential hazards in the workplace, we can start to put those effective control measures. Understanding it is all about the environment; there will be workplaces that benefit from a slope barrier when people are working in hazardous environments with different terrain, in comparison to an office where the worst type of hazard is more likely to be a spillage on a floor. 

Risk management is always about identifying what we need to minimise while analysing the associated risks. It's a lot of work upfront; however, it becomes the foundation on which you can progress.

Safety Policies and Objectives

An effective business safety management system should follow:

  • Define clear safety goals and demonstrate commitment to achieving them.
  • Establish transparency around safety management.
  • Integrate safety into the culture and values of the company.

Defining clear safety goals will showcase just how serious an organisation is when it comes to safety. So many businesses hate the idea of setting stringent safety goals, which is why there are a number of rules and regulations that we have to comply with. However, there is one element businesses are missing here if they think they just need to comply with rules, and that is giving the employees peace of mind. If an employee does not feel safe in whatever way, this is going to have an impact on their abilities to work. 

We all need to prioritise productivity, so when we define clear safety goals, we then also need to showcase our commitment to achieving that. With regards to policies and processes, we need to be transparent. Any organisation must demonstrate their dedication to transparency with regards to policies and processes but also prioritise accountability. Safety management is one of those things that we should all take seriously, and this is why we need to then integrate our safety measures into the company culture and values. Implementing anything into a business culture won't create seismic changes overnight, but if we can start to make a change in how we view health and safety, we will be able to create a working business that's not just operating within the realms of safety, but it will give every employee a sense of confidence in their abilities. 

An organisation needs to remember that policies and procedures can be one thing that might be too taxing because of stretched budgets and responsibilities, but when an employee feels they can work safely, whether this is due to numerous health and safety considerations or they actually feel secure in their working environment, you are going to get a lot more out of them.

Safety Assurance

When we implement any safety measure, much like in our business, we need to focus on how effective this truly is. Monitoring the performance and effectiveness of this measure and managing any changes to ensure continuous improvement will guarantee a far more robust security protocol. Monitoring any implemented safety measure comprises:

  • Establishing clear safety performance indicators and targets. This could be a considerable workload in itself but if we set realistic, measurable, and time-bound safety objectives, potentially following the SMART acronym, we can be far more effective.
  • Conducting regular safety inspections and workplace audits is another essential aspect that we also need to ensure both managers and supervisors are visible when they're conducting inspections and make sure that front-line employees are part of the workplace audits. When we conduct regular safety inspections, this sends a clear message to employees that safety is a true priority, and this will feed into their peace of mind and their productivity.
  • Analysing safety incident data and investigating root causes contributing to incidents will cover two key elements: the financial and operational costs and identifying patterns and trends that contribute. 
  • Establishing effective communication channels for our employees is vital so we can encourage feedback, and when we involve employees in developing and updating any safety rules and procedures, this slowly increases that notion of autonomy while also guaranteeing employees feel safe and secure in their ability to do the job.

In order to do these effectively, we also need to regularly review and update any safety policy and procedure. Just because there is an existing control measure now doesn't mean it will be useful in the future. We should always ensure safety policies remain relevant and align with the goals of the organisation.

Safety Promotion

The key to communicating with employees is about meeting them on their turf. We should always encourage feedback from our employees so they're able to do their jobs effectively. Something like safety is, as we've clearly established, a box-ticking exercise and therefore if we don't set the example as an organisation that safety is something that benefits us all then we can't expect our employees to follow suit. 

This is why we should establish effective communication channels to share safety information and shape our organisation in the way that we want. Comprehensive safety education is something that many organisations tend to shy away from, but it also becomes a bone of contention among employees because it takes them away from their work. Employees have to understand what operating safely can do for them in terms of their work. 

An excellent example is in monitoring fraudulent practices within an organisation. Ultimately, safety is not just about avoiding slips, trips, and falls but about comprehensively protecting a business through understanding the tactics people use to gain entry into an organisation whether this is through email phishing scams or a fraudulent employee that's exhibiting certain telltale signs like working longer hours and not taking holidays. We should foster a culture where everybody is responsible for safety, and the only way to do this is to view safety on an equal footing as profits or customers.

Prepare for Emergencies

Emergency preparedness is one of those elements that is not given the same traction as firewalls or IT support companies because many businesses don't have the finances to be ready for the worst-case scenarios. We should always fall to the level of our training when everything hits the fan. When everybody's responsible for safety, this provides strength in numbers, but we also need to understand that businesses that are not ready for the worst-case scenario can lose more than they think. Customers will lose trust in a business that did not prioritise their safety components and the welfare of the customers in the first place. 

Data breaches are so common that we have to incorporate a multitude of methods to give ourselves the best possible chance at emerging victorious:

  • Developing and regularly reviewing emergency response plans is the bare minimum you should be doing. 
  • Understanding what can happen when a data breach occurs gives you the ability to weather these storms as well as get your business back up and running as soon as possible. 
  • We should conduct emergency drills and simulations to test the effectiveness of these plans but also remember that business safety is about more than just having a Bible of instructions to follow, but ensuring that having trained personnel available facilitates a smoother approach to dealing with these problems. 

When employees see business leaders panicking that everything is going wrong, they will not operate at their best, and this means that everything can struggle. Businesses can lose a lot because of one problem and this doesn't just mean they're not able to deliver great customer service or sell products but when we don't prioritise safety one issue can have a cascading effect on our business that will potentially run a business into the ground.

Business safety is about these five different components and to achieve these we need to involve employees at all levels within the process and understand the safety performance indicators to drive continuous improvements but we should also ensure compliance across the board by consulting with safety experts and all regulatory bodies. Safety is not a box-ticking exercise, but it should be a system that protects everything about our business. Get it right and your business will not suffer.

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