Checks and Monitoring for Health and Safety
A significant element of all health and safety training courses and health and safety in general is (rightly so) concerned with identifying hazards and making them safe before a person is adversely affected. Prevention is far more preferable than reacting to an accident, as often the consequences of such an incident will stay with the person for the rest of their lives in the form of either the physical scars or loss of limbs, or psychological trauma after experiencing or witnessing a bad accident. Even so, checks and monitoring after such precautions have been put into place are still a critical requirement for effective health and safety in the workplace.
Why are Checks and Monitoring so Important?
With the need to spend so much time and effort beforehand in doing as much as is reasonably practical to prevent harm from coming to employees, site visitors and members of the public nearby, it would be understandable to think that the job is then done and that no more attention needs to be paid to the topic of safety and health. The truth is though that checks and monitoring are just as important as the initial preventative steps.
Refinement is Usually Required
For starters, there is no guarantee (and it is probably quite unlikely) that the initial safety policies, precautions and procedures are absolutely and completely as effective as they could be. There will usually be at least one issue which needs amending slightly, which would not be done if things were given no more attention after the initial introduction. The safest places of work are those where processes and safety features are continually evaluated and refined in order to improve them.
A Changed Workplace Needs Updated Safety Information
Secondly, the fact that workplaces are constantly changing means that health and safety features need to change with them. Not only will new layouts and new machinery facilitate the need for health and safety training in order to make workers aware of the dangers associated with these changed conditions, but there also exists the possibility that out-of-date information which is no longer relevant actually places workers in danger. For example, previous training which informed workers to go to one location to assemble in the event of an emergency evacuation could place themselves or others in danger if this has moved somewhere else. Not only can it cause damage to the health of people, but it could also lead to destruction of the surrounding environment also.
Machinery and Safety Equipment Need to be Monitored
A large percentage of workplace accidents are caused by damaged or defective equipment and machinery. Frequent checks and monitoring of such equipment needs to be made to discover evidence of deterioration before it compromises the effectiveness of the protection or causes the machine to injure or kill anybody in the vicinity. It may be necessary in some circumstances to replace certain equipment at regular intervals even if it shows little or no sign of breaking anytime soon in order to ensure that it will not malfunction unexpectedly.
So whether it is refining and improving upon health and safety measures, maintaining the safety of machines, ensuring that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) does what it should, or providing employees with up-to-date knowledge and information, it is vital that checks and monitoring take place continuously in order to keep workers, the public and the environment safe from harm.