In the day to day running of your business, you will, of course, have people attending your site. As the owner or manager of the site, you have a legal responsibility to have a safe workplace for staff and visitors. Duty of care is the legal obligation or responsibility to take all reasonable steps to avoid causing foreseeable harm to another person or their property.
Visitors can include:
- friends and family
- delivery people
- utility workers.
There are many ways that we can ensure that our visitors and our employees, are protected during their time on site.
Visitor Policy & Procedure
Having a policy & procedure for visitors ensures that each staff member who arranges an appointment or greets a visitor follows the same criteria. A visitor policy ensures that, every time someone visits the workplace, following the guidelines outlined in the policy saves your staff time and effort. This ensures your company collects and securely stores everything you need from visitors to remain in compliance with the latest local regulations.
Of course, the size of your business & the industry it belongs to will be determining factors in what your visitor policy needs to be and include. A small office with low- risk tasks being completed will be much less involved than a factory or construction site.
Your team should inform guests of any prior needs before check-in.
Information such as:
- Where they should sign in (e.g., at the front desk).
- Hours they are allowed onsite.
- Areas of the workplace they can and cannot access.
- Who they are visiting.
- Produce photo ID.
- Complete induction package.
- Will they be escorted or unescorted.
Documented information often includes,
- Company they represent.
- Qualifications or permits such as White Card or Working with Children.
- Mobile number to locate them in the case of an emergency.
- Visitor pass number.
This document is used for visitors who may enter an operational construction zone, such as warehouses & building sites. It can be completed prior to visit, usually online, or on site. Induction training should be carried out by someone who is familiar with the workplace & it’s risks.
Hazards and risks specific to the workplace- eg. overhead powerlines
- Control measures for those risks- eg. no go zones for working.
- Site specific rules that must be complied with- eg. PPE.
- Safety documents, policies and plans specific to the workplace- eg. traffic management plans.
- Who to report incidents and hazards to and how to report them.
- Incident, emergency and evacuation procedures and associated equipment at the workplace.
- The layout of the workplace including entries and exists, loading and unloading areas, location of facilities, first aid and security requirements.
Clear signage will help move people around your site safely. Some or all of the following may be required:
- Visitor carparking, reception, assembly areas.
- Designated pedestrian routes in carparks & factory floors.
- PPE required in each location.
- Hazard signs.
- No access points.
Emergency Control Organisation (ECO)
Regular training of your ECO will enable them to run a smooth & controlled scene or evacuation if required.
All staff should be aware of the emergency plan, who the emergency warden & wardens are & how to exit the site & where the assembly areas are.
Without some sort of procedure in place you may find that:
- Employees will come up with their own rules.
- Your visitors have a chaotic experience; time wasted trying to gain access to the site or egress from the site, confused over safety & accountability.
- You risk creating a potentially unsafe environment.
With fatalities & thousands of life changing injuries per year, everyone wants their family to come home to them in the same state they walked out the door that morning. It’s everyone’s responsibility to take care in the workplace & remember that visitors don’t have the benefit of workplace familiarity.
For support with your Workplace Emergency Management Plan, and Training, get in touch today.