Organisation and Health & Safety
For health and safety to be truly embraced throughout the entire workforce of a company it needs to be taken seriously by those at the head of the organisation. They will need to convince middle managers and supervisors of the necessity to ensure that standards and controls are maintained at all times and that the health and safety of workers takes precedence over other targets and objectives such as production numbers or cost reduction, even when they put those managers under pressure to achieve these other objectives.
The NEBOSH General Certificate qualification syllabus covers the organisation of health and safety and how management personnel are essential for its integration into the working culture of the business as well as their legal responsibilities, as do others like the IOSH Managing Safely course.
However simply saying that health and safety is important is not enough. Managers need to communicate the importance of always following health and safety procedures after establishing this through the creation of a comprehensive health and safety policy and completion of thorough risk assessments. They also need to ensure that health and safety is not seen as a static subject insofar as once risk assessments and policies are done then that is the job completed. A workplace is constantly evolving and changing which means that managers at all levels, in conjunction with employee input too, need to always be assessing and determining potential risks and hazards in a proactive manner, rather then leaving it until it is too late and an accident occurs. To assist with this, management need to hold regular consultations with those who are most affected by certain processes as they may have valuable ideas and suggestions for safety improvement, as well as ensuring that there is a system in place for accidents and near-misses to be reported so that remedial action is taken and implemented. Similarly, stringent monitoring and assessment of current and newly-adopted controls need to be undertaken to judge the effectiveness and make sure that they are fit for purpose insofar as the protection they are intended to provide.