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Directors Need to Appoint Competent Health and Safety Managers


The Need for Additional Managers within a Company

Companies which grow even a small amount will soon find that it is impossible for senior managers and directors to do everything. They will therefore need to appoint managers to look after certain aspects of running the company on their behalf. Obviously the skill and competency of these managers that are appointed will have a significant influence upon the future performance of the business, as success or failure will depend upon the choices they make. Whilst they will still be accountable to the board of directors, who will themselves determine a lot of the strategy and direction, the managers will still hold a great deal of influence and responsibility for the actual functioning of the organisation, and will typically make decisions about the strategy for the company based on very broad guidelines from the directors. For this reason, appointing good managers is a crucial consideration for company directors as it can end up making or breaking the organisation.



Health and Safety is one of the most Important Responsibilities

Appointing good managers applies to many facets of the business, but one such area which is actually one of the most crucial is that of health and safety. Putting in place health and safety managers who are knowledgeable and highly competent will be imperative for creating a safe place of work which minimises the likelihood of an accident occurring. These managers will be able to identify hazards before they cause harm to anyone, and put in place the necessary modifications or safety systems accordingly.



The Need for Health & Safety Training and Qualifications

Competent health and safety managers will also recognise the need for rigorous health and safety training for staff members and managers alike, as it is everyone's responsibility for creating and maintaining a safe place of work. Whether it is courses such as the IOSH Managing Safely or a qualification like the NEBOSH General Certificate, or even a tailored, in-house health and safety training course for staff members on a particular topic, the provision of safety training is critical for fashioning a group (i.e. all employees) who can function efficiently whilst at the same time keeping themselves and others safe from harm.

Sometimes this appointment comes from within the company by promoting an existing employee to the position of a health and safety manager. It is imperative that they are fully-trained and have the necessary knowledge before they take up the role as a serious accident or incident could take place whilst they are still getting up to speed with their new responsibilities. Other times the position will be filled by recruiting an external candidate. Even if they already hold all the necessary health and safety qualifications to make them suitable for the role, they will still need to become fully aware and knowledgeable regarding the company's systems and procedures in order to carry out the job successfully and to the required standard.



A Continually-Evolving Job Role

Anybody appointed to the role of a health and safety manager will also need to understand the necessity for continuous study and awareness of how the job evolves over time. They need to make themselves aware of changes to legislation which will affect the company, as well as taking into account the changing demands and concerns of existing and future members of staff as expectations change or working practices / equipment / processes / finished products change over time.



Conclusion

Appointing a manager to oversee any area of a business is a major decision which needs to be gotten right, but when it comes to health and safety the consequences of getting it wrong can be devastating and lead to life-changing injuries or death. The recruitment and selection process needs to be rigorous to ensure that only a person who is suitable for the role is given the responsibility.




Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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