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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.
The Topic of Organising Health and Safety on NEBOSH General Certificate Courses
Health and safety within an organisation can take a heck of a lot of organisation. Its size and scope make it a hard enough task in a small company, but in a large one it can be extremely difficult. A failure to effectively organise the devising, communication, teaching and implementation of health and safety issues and measures can open up the potential for dangers to exist and risks which may lead to an accident. This is why NEBOSH General Certificate courses will pay close attention to the organisation of health and safety in a workplace in the syllabus.
The Need for Worker Involvement
A good way to manage and organise the successful integration of health and safety policies is to actively engage employees in the process, especially when it comes to identifying hazards and performing risk assessments as they are the ones most likely to encounter such a danger, rather than management sat in a boardroom well away from the areas containing most of the risks. Not only can workers help in the identification process of highlighting dangers to health, but they are also much more likely to accept and comply with the new safety measures or methods of working than they are if management simply issue decrees from up high and tell workers that they have to comply with it or else.
How Can Managers Hear the Views of So Many Employees?
A small company may be able to have managers communicate directly with employees when it comes to the organising of health and safety and idea generation, whereas for a large company with many employees this will be impractical and will require employee representatives to liaise between management and workers. This provides the opportunity for workers to have their views about safety and health issues in the workplace listened to by management.
Although it may take more time to move up thorough the line of communication, the collective views of employees are much more likely to be heard by utilising this method, as managers are unlikely to listen to lone individuals who happen to knock on their office door one day. In really big organisations, shop floor workers may not even have clearance to get into the same building as management. Even if they were willing to listen to everyone who had something to say about improving health and safety within the company, it is likely that they simply would not have the time available to spare. By having safety representatives who can gather all of the opinions and suggestions from individuals, and can then present a summary of the most common issues and ideas being mooted, much time can be saved and a clearer idea of what needs to be done acquired.
The Importance of Organisation
Organisation obviously plays a crucial part in ensuring that this process goes smoothly. The larger the business, the easier it is for the communication process to break down and critical modifications to the workplace missed. Effective organisation therefore plays a key role in the creation of maintenance of a safe place of work, and as such it is no wonder that it is given attention on the NEBOSH General Certificate health and safety course.
Planning is a one of the most critical components of effective health and safety provision, and is an accepted fact that accident and incident prevention is far more preferable than dealing with the aftermath. Effective planning is so crucial that it is covered in detail on many health and safety training courses including the NEBOSH General Certificate and IOSH Managing Safely courses.
Health and safety plans can incorporate performing risk assessments to determine likely risks and dangers to those present on or nearby the business, devising contingency plans if something unexpected occurs such as flooding, planning improvements even if current safety measures are sufficient but could be better, and much more.
A failure to plan properly can not only make companies unprepared for unexpected circumstances or emergencies and so place workers, site visitors and nearby members of the public in danger, but can also greatly delay projects and tasks as work has to cease whilst the unanticipated requirements are fulfilled e.g. personal protective equipment which was not foreseen and ordered in time for when it is needed.