The Role of HR in Managing Workplace Health and Safety

It’s no secret that workplace health and safety is incredibly important. After all, who wants to work in a hazardous or unhealthy environment? That’s where the HR department comes in, alongside their many other duties, they also play a crucial role in managing workplace health and safety.


How Does HR Manage Workplace Health and Safety?

One of the main responsibilities of HR is developing and implementing workplace health and safety procedures and policies. This means that they have to identify any potential hazards and put measures in place to minimise or eliminate them. For example, they might create policies around the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) or establish procedures for reporting safety incidents.

They’ll also make sure that all employees are aware of these policies and procedures and provide training on how to adhere to them. So, if you ever see an HR rep leading a safety training session, you’ll know what they’re up to!

Conduct Inspections

Another important role of HR is to conduct regular safety inspections and audits. This involves reviewing workplace conditions to ensure that they are safe and healthy for employees. During these inspections, HR reps might look for hazards like loose wiring, trip hazards, or ergonomic issues that could lead to injury or illness.

If they identify any issues, HR will work directly with managers and other departments to address them. For example, they might arrange for repairs to be made or work with facilities management to install new safety equipment.

Companies that offer HR software include:

  1. Rippling
  2. Deel
  3. Factorial

Supporting Employees

Of course, accidents and incidents can still happen in the workplace, no matter how careful everyone is. That’s why HR is there to help if something goes wrong – if you’re ever injured on the job or have a safety concern, HR is your go-to team. They’ll make sure you get the medical attention you need, report the incident to the appropriate authorities and departments, and work with you to prevent it from happening again. In the case of a serious incident, they may also provide support like counselling services or time off if you need it.

Promoting a Healthy Workplace Culture


HR is not just there to react to incidents – they also are working their hardest to prevent them. One way they do this is by promoting a healthy workplace culture. This might involve creating programmes or initiatives that encourage healthy habits and lifestyle choices, and this can involve anything from arranging regular exercise classes and healthy cooking demonstrations to providing resources and support for employees who are trying to quit smoking or manage chronic health conditions. 


Implementing Ergonomic Workstations


Another way HR helps to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses is by implementing ergonomic workstations. Essentially, ergonomics is the science of designing workspaces and equipment to fit the people who use them. By creating workstations that are ergonomic, HR can reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries or other physical ailments. This might involve providing adjustable chairs, ergonomic keyboards, or footrests to employees. HR might also work with facilities management to make sure that workstations are set up correctly and that employees are trained on how to use them.

Monitoring Workplace Health and Safety


HR is responsible for monitoring and reporting on workplace health and safety. This means keeping track of safety metrics like incident rates, near-miss reports, and workers’ compensation claims. HR will also report on these metrics to senior leadership and make recommendations for how to improve workplace safety.

By monitoring and reporting on workplace health and safety, HR can identify trends and areas for improvement. They can then work with other departments to develop and implement strategies to address these issues and prevent incidents from happening in the future.


What is The Primary Responsibility of HR in Managing Workplace Health and Safety?

HR plays a pivotal role in ensuring workplace health and safety by establishing policies, procedures, and compliance with regulations, promoting a culture of safety, and addressing employee concerns related to health and safety issues.


How Can HR Management Software Help Streamline Health and Safety Processes?

HR management software can automate the tracking of safety incidents, maintain employee health records, schedule safety training, and facilitate communication regarding health and safety updates, making it easier for HR professionals to manage these crucial aspects effectively.


Key Legal Requirements When it Comes to HR and Workplace Health and Safety


HR should be well-versed in local laws and regulations as well as and industry-specific standards to ensure compliance and avoid legal issues related to workplace health and safety.


How Can HR Encourage Employee Participation in Health and Safety Initiatives?


HR can engage employees by promoting awareness through training, involving them in safety committees, and encouraging reporting of safety concerns without fear of reprisal, fostering a culture of shared responsibility for health and safety.