Within a lot companies worldwide staff are often too scared to report safety issues to the management, this is not just small companies but large national companies. In fact there are a number of reported cases where an employee has either been threatened or fired when making a complaint.
In the United Kingdom where Corporate Manslaughter charges can be applied to company directors the culture is changing and this is due to good management. The main cause is staff think that there will be punishment if they cause near misses or accidents, obviously this depends on the severity, however ALL near misses and accidents should be reported no matter how trivial or serious they are. Employees need to be reassured that reporting any incident will help the company to reduce the number of these from happening.
One of the best ways of achieving this is to involve the staff, for example attending safety meetings, carrying out workplace safety inspections and allowing them to input ideas to set up safe work areas and practices. Managers should develop a culture of rewarding staff that report incidents or voice safety concerns, this will lead to a safer work environment for all concerned, if staff members or managers not adhere to safe work practices then a punishment should be used, from verbal to written warnings and if serious dismissal.
Most companies will carry out Risk Assessments in all areas of the companies activities, steps would be taken to reduce the risks and Safe Work Method Statements written to provide clear instructions on how to carry out the task in a safe manner. Office based companies should be doing the same with inspections held weekly, have qualified persons inspect electrical items and the cleaning supplies cupboard should be checked for chemicals or substances that maybe hazardous to health, these should be exchanged for less dangerous products or be assessed before use.
If there are language barriers these will need to be addressed, and in addition the safety culture in some countries is very poor so bear this in mind and ensure that they fully understand the company safety policy.
For more on company safety policies please visit http://www.method-statement-template.info/health_and_safety_policy