Ensure Your Workers are Protected when Procedures Change
- Consult with employees in advance before making any changes to the workplace, including to work methods, equipment and layout. Often staff will know a lot about the potential hazards as they perform the tasks on a frequent basis.
- Risk assess any changes before putting them into practice. Look at how changing one element could impact on another work procedure – for example, by re-arranging the layout of the workshop without planning how workers will stay segregated from workplace transport, staff could end up having to cross traffic routes and therefore put themselves in danger of being run over.
- Develop a safe system of work for staff to follow. Write this down so workers can refer to it when needed.
- Ensure that the required training is provided, for example if new equipment is to be used for the first time.
- Supervise the new procedure to check that workers understand what they need to do, and that they follow the safe system of work correctly.
- Review the risk assessment periodically to ensure that you have captured all of the inherent hazards in the new work procedure. Ask workers for feedback – check that your controls are working to mitigate the identified risks.
Always take time to carefully plan your work procedures – never implement changes without assessing the risks first, and working out how to control them effectively.
Contact us should you require guidance.