Business Coaching, Management Training and More by The BCF Group

Line Managers Have a Big Responsibility for Health and Safety


The managers of an organisation play a vital role in shaping the health and safety of their company. From the creation of the health and safety policy, organising the provision of health and safety training for staff members, to making sure that policies and procedures are being followed, managers have these responsibilities and more for ensuring that the workplace is as safe as is reasonably practical for their employees and everyone nearby. In addition to this, they need to ensure that the business complies with all applicable legislation (which frequently changes) meaning that they need to keep up to date with those amendments that require them to make alterations within their company.

When discussing managerial responsibilities for health and safety, thoughts will primarily be focused on senior managers and directors, as it is them who set the direction for health and safety and how seriously it needs to be taken. In numerous health and safety articles on this site including "Managers and Health and Safety", "Management Responsibilities for Health and Safety" and "How Can Managers Promote a Health and Safety Culture?" we have seen that the attitude of senior management influences to a great extent the approach and attitudes of workers in terms of how seriously they take health and safety. If senior managers do not take health and safety seriously or, even worse, actively instruct employees to bypass or ignore safety regulations in order to get the job done quicker, then the probability of accidents and incidents occurring in the workplace increase significantly.

The Responsibility of Line Managers

However it is not just senior manager and directors which have an important part to play. Line managers also have a key responsibility for the creation and maintenance of health and safety in the company. Assuming that the directors and senior managers are in fact keen on complying with health and safety legislation and maintaining a safe place of work, then they will rely upon their line managers to implement and monitor such provisions, as well as acting as a conduit for feedback and safety improvement suggestions from workers on the shop floor back up to the boardroom.

Line managers therefore need to be people whom senior managers can trust, and not be willing to compromise safety in order to achieve certain targets and make themselves look better in the process. Responsible senior managers would much prefer a job to miss a deadline or go over budget rather than put people's health and safety at risk and all the negative repercussions which come to all concerned in the event of an accident or incident.

The management training they receive before taking up the role and during their tenure should include training in health and safety issues. Along with training in management responsibilities and other associated areas such as leadership and effective communication, health and safety courses which outline and examine the responsibilities of line managers from a health and safety perspective should also be completed. Typical examples include the IOSH Managing Safely and NEBOSH General Certificate courses, and will depend upon the nature of the industry and the responsibilities of the line manager in question.

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.

Click Here for More Information

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.

Click Here for More Information

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.

Click Here for More Information

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.

Click Here for More Information

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.

Click Here for More Information

Do you need some advice?

Discuss your training requirements today with one of our expert advisers.