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Talking About Health and Safety is Not Enough


Introduction

The attitude of managers plays a significant part in the overall health and safety culture of the business. Employees take their lead from managers as to how they should act and how seriously they should approach something, and so if managers are not seemingly taking health and safety seriously then workers are highly likely to follow suit. Sometimes it can be just the impression they give out which can do the damage rather than their true feelings. For instance, the managers of a company may indeed take health and safety seriously, but if they make jokes about it whenever they are down on the shop floor and give the impression that health and safety is not important or that it is a problem having to follow all rules and guidelines, then employees may start to think that managers do not take it seriously, even when in actual fact they do.



The Need for Positive Action

Even those managers who do take health and safety seriously still need to appreciate that talking about health and safety is not enough on its own; it must also be backed up with positive action.

Managers can talk all they like about how important it is to always wear protective clothing when doing a particular task or working with/near certain hazardous substances, but they also need to ensure that they first provide protective equipment which is suitable for this task, as well as conducting regular inspections and timely repairs or replacement of damaged or failing clothing and equipment. Without positive action to back up what they are saying about the importance of health and safety in the workplace, employees will just assume that their words are hollow and not much attention needs to be paid to them. If employees are not paying attention to the health and safety instructions which management are giving them, then it is similar to managers not providing any instruction at all. Employees will also be much more willing to attend health and safety courses, and also to pay attention to what is being taught if they feel that management are also taking the topic seriously and that they will be expecting those they employ to be proficient in working safely and preventing harm (not to mention damage to property!) coming to themselves or others.



Conclusion

For a safe place of work, managers therefore need to not only talk about health and safety by creating effective plans and deciding what needs to be done, but they also need to supplement these words with action. By communicating procedures clearly and effectively with employees, and putting into place positive actions, a safe place of work and an active health and safety culture within the business is much more likely to be achieved and maintained. As a result, accident rates will be minimised and subsequently an injury or illness befalling a worker, site visitor or members of the public who happen to be nearby will be much less likely to occur.




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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