Paperwork is important - isn't it?
You can picture the scene…I am invited to guest blog for Meet and Mingle.
My first reaction?
Great! What a wonderful opportunity to spread the wellbeing word.
My next reaction?
Oh no – what do I write, where do I start?!
And that reminded me of how many of my clients feel about completing health and safety paperwork.
Health, safety and wellbeing is my business and my passion, but I do know it is not everyone’s favourite subject! Health and safety paperwork especially is a topic full of myth, fear and confusion, and many of the businesses I talk to have started to think of their health and safety activity mainly in terms of the paper trail.
Paperwork is important isn't it?
It is true that paperwork is an important part of the process. But it is there to record the really important part, which is thought processes and actions that have gone into keeping people physically and mentally safe and healthy.
So why is paperwork important?
Here are some reasons worth considering;
- It demonstrates that you have actually considered the risks presented by
your business activity and taken steps to reduce them (therefore demonstrating that you are meeting your legal duties under health and safety law too).
-It ensures that this key information can be shared and is easily retrievable, ensuring consistency and continuity.
-and it helps businesses to monitor their health and safety performance, another essential part of the whole process.
And now the how:
That's the 'why', now here are some top tips on how to make the paperwork process easier (and this works for blogger's block too!)
- Involve others – You will gain other perspectives that you may not have considered and can test out your thoughts and ideas
- Read and research -Look at how others have done it by looking at case studies or examples on the HSE website, relevant professional associations or sources of expertise (like The Safety Elf!)
- Make a start and get something down – sometimes there is nothing scarier than a blank piece of paper!
- Only write it if you believe it to be true – this is not a work of fiction, and in health and safety terms there is absolutely no point in putting effort into producing a document that has no bearing on reality.
- Make it relevant and accessible to your target audience – think about the language and style you are using to present the information. Does it fit with the ‘where, how and who’ of its use?
- Don’t forget the review part – people may give you feedback, you may become aware of new information or there may be changes (e.g. in legislation, in your business activity, premises or staffing). They all present great opportunities to review, and maybe improve, what you are doing.
the paperwork is only recording the really important part
– the things you are doing to make a difference to the health, safety and wellbeing for you, your employees and your clients and customers.
So next time you are having a paperwork panic or even facing blogger's block, I hope you will find this advice helpful - I would love to hear your thoughts or questions.
For more top tips on making health, safety and wellbeing a positive experience please do get in touch with The Safety Elf