At Safety Forward we deal with many different sized companies. Those who aren’t big enough to employ a full time health and safety advisor often rely on consultancy services. So how do they effectively manage health and safety in between our visits? The answer is simple. Great businesses make health and safety the responsibility of the whole workforce.
A top tip for managing health and safety is to integrate the responsibilities in to everyday tasks. For example, factory floor workers can be trained to carry out pre-user checks on equipment and report faults. Tasks such as reviewing COSHH Assessments can be performed by the user of the chemical providing they are competent to do so. Managers and supervisors can update and refresh the knowledge of the workforce by delivering toolbox talks and keeping those training records up to date. Training such as IOSH Managing Safely can also equip managers to investigate accidents thoroughly and be involved in ongoing performance improvements.
Health and safety should never be down to one person. Where it is, you are quite likely to hear the words “that’s his job”. If a company creates this culture, soon enough there will be a “slopey shoulder” effect which will encourage people to shrug off anything to do with health and safety and swiftly brush it under the carpet.
My advice is to clearly define within peoples roles what exactly their duties are. As a business, give them training and mentoring to help them understand why the success of a productive workforce often lies in health and safety.
Providing and maintaining a safe working environment in certain sectors is challenging at times. Both employers and employees have the responsibility to ensure the working environment has safe standards for all. Managed correctly, health and safety is paramount to ultimate success of the business.
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