Sharing Lessons With Others for Health and Safety Training
Unfortunately despite all of the health and safety training and preventative measures in the world, accidents and near misses still occur. Whilst many potential risks and hazards can be minimised, it is impossible to entirely eliminate all chance of an incident occurring unless impractical steps are taken such as closing down the business completely.
So despite safety precautions, health and safety training, qualifications like the NEBOSH Diploma and so forth, there is no getting away from the fact that accidents, incidents and near misses will still occur. Their likelihood can, most of the time, only be minimised and reduced rather than eliminated completely. Not only then do items and procedures need to be ready to handle such a situation, like the provision of fire extinguishers and emergency evacuation plans, but lessons need to be learnt from these events in order to lessen even further the potential for them to happen in the future.
Sharing Health and Safety Information to Prevent Harm
These incidents do not necessarily need to happen to a person, department or even an entire company personally for them to benefit from the experience. This is because the lessons learned and knowledge gained from an accident or near miss can be shared with others in order to increase their awareness and understanding so that they are less likely to suffer the same fate.
Companies are naturally wary about sharing information. Of course this makes sense from a competition perspective; others should figure things out for themselves rather than being told (or stealing) the results of another firm's hard work. However a different approach should be taken when it comes to health and safety. This topic is not the same as a new product or process which will give the company a competitive advantage for more money, it is a topic which affects the lives and health of human beings. There needs to be difference between a company keeping secret the results of research which could increase its profits, and keeping secret information which could save the life of a person working for a different firm.
Collaboration on safety information between firms operating in the same industry can significantly improve the overall levels of health and safety at both businesses. An incident which takes place at one can provide lessons and suggestions for improvements/modifications at the other business to prevent a similar occurrence, rather then waiting for a person to be killed or injured before realising that something needs to be changed. The more companies that collaborate, the greater the amount of information shared and the more that can be learnt and implemented before a similar incident takes place at the other businesses.
The Need for Health and Safety Collaboration
The many different facets to the topic of health and safety mean that there are a lot of areas which need attention in order to keep people and the environment safe from harm. Whether this be organisational issues, technical requirements, potential for human error, environmental influences etc, the information to be learnt and the potential for incidents are significant. Collaboration reduces the workload of each different business, and enables them to create a safer place of work in a much shorter period of time than if they had to figure out everything themselves. This is particularly true of a new businesses with an inexperienced management team and workforce, who can learn from an established player in the market.