Consulting directly with employees
Use a range of methods to suit the circumstances and combine them if a single method is not suitable. Whatever method you choose, you need to make sure it's practical, otherwise you must consult with representatives. There are many ways you can consult face-to-face:
- One-to-one discussions can be effective if you have a small business and have the opportunity to talk to your employees regularly.
- If your business is larger, then you could try regular walkabouts where you get to meet employees face to face, and they get to share ideas and concerns. If you are regularly approachable, employees are more likely to open up about the risks, especially if you then do something about the issues raised.
- Have health and safety as a standing item on the agenda of routine team meetings. Your employees can feed back their views to you, so there is always an opportunity for health and safety issues to be picked up.
- Special workforce meetings can be best when you need to call the whole workforce together for their views and opinions. This could be in addition to regular team meetings. At large meetings, the exchange of views and ideas might not be as effective as in smaller gatherings where people may feel more comfortable sharing their views.
- Arrange toolbox talks where you have short talks on specific health and safety issues that show the relevance of a topic to particular jobs, for instance a talk about manual handling for those doing jobs that involve lifting heavy goods. A toolbox talk allows you and your workers to explore the risks and think about ways to deal with them.
- Set up work groups to tackle specific health and safety issues and explore ways of making a difference. The employees involved in the group should be directly involved with the issues being looked at so they can really contribute to solutions.