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Why Health and Safety Aims Need to be Stated

Ask anybody what they expect when they hear that a business will be focusing on improving health and safety in the workplace, and their initial thought is likely to be that the company is aiming to reduce the chances of accidents occurring. By doing so, the number of people adversely affected by such incidents, and the severity to which they are impacted, will be minimised.

However just making the declaration of "improving health and safety" will be too general a statement and lack the specific details that will be necessary in order to facilitate its achievement. In order to create a safe workplace where the likelihood of an employee, visitor, nearby member of the public or the environment is harmed in some way, exact and detailed plans and actions will need to be undertaken.

Approaching health and safety with a nondescript plan of action will often result in little to nothing actually being done. In this case, the same dangers to health which existed before will continue to be present, with the potential to cause harm at any moment. To improve the levels of health and safety in a place of work, the following factors need detailed consideration:



Objectives

Specific objectives need to be defined in order to increase the chances of them being achieved. Having a clear focus will be far easier to work towards than a generalised desire which has no measurable targets. For example, an objective of "Reducing the number of accidents in the workplace by 10% within three months" will be a far better objective than simply saying "to have fewer accidents in the workplace".



Who

Plans are only effective if people work towards them. No matter how clear the objective, if nobody is actively working to achieve it then it is highly unlikely to be accomplished. As part of the plan, tasks and responsibilities should be assigned to individuals so that they and others know who is doing what.

The best plans in the world will fail to get off the ground if they are not properly communicated and nobody knows about them. Effective communication is vital for getting people to understand what it is they need to do, and why they need to be doing it (see Why section below).



Why

Getting employees on board beforehand, rather than simply issuing orders to them without warning, will result in greater motivation from them to work towards the objectives, and ultimately significantly increasing the chances of the stated objectives becoming a reality. Often this is done through such methods as health and safety training courses which teach employees of the dangers and serious consequences that can occur as a result of an incident in the workplace. By explaining the risks, and the urgent need to tackle the issues, workers are more likely to buy-in to what management are trying to achieve in terms of improving health and safety within the company.



Timescales

As mentioned under the 'Objectives' heading above, defining clear timescales makes accomplishment much more likely as it puts a definitive deadline on what needs to be achieved. Without this, tasks and changes will often get left for another day, which ultimately becomes months, years or possibly even never.




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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