Our approach to health and safety
Start from the principle that you want all members of staff, employees and contractors to go home in the same state that they came into work
Interest in obtaining Health & Safety advice is continually gaining momentum, as companies increasingly understand and accept their responsibilities in terms of adhering to the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. The net result is that workers are being looked after as they go to work; able to go home at the end of their working day, physically and mentally fit.
An effective Health & Safety Policy should complement a successful company strategy, not become a burden, enhancing the perception of positivity to a level where employees rate the business as a good company for which to work. Any factor enhancing motivation, leading to improved performance should surely be encouraged.
The Chair of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Judith Hackett, when countering criticism suggesting that legislation did not support common sense, said, “What we are concerned with, simply, is stopping people in the workplace being put at risk of death, serious injury or ill-health.” ¹
The HSE will not get in your way in terms of you building your business. They will however pursue you if they feel that you are not adhering to the law – this could result in fines, or prosecution of your company and or individuals ‘where an offence…is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to have been attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate…’ ²
Once you are happy that your company has identified the risks that your employees face when working, and you have procedures and equipment in place to manage these risks down to zero or consistently safe levels, and you understand that anyone coming ‘into contact’ with what you do or provide will be safe then, please make sure that you implement these measures.
An effective Health & Safety Policy should complement a successful company strategy
There seem to be four common factors for this not being the case:
- You pay for H&S material to be provided and leave it on the shelf, often unread
- You do not make time to consider the importance of implementing what you know is right
- There are not suitably motivated or qualified staff within the organisation to implement the Company’s H&S policy on a consistent basis – “I can’t do everything”
- “We are SO busy”
To get your mind around the subject, start from the principle that you want all members of staff, employees and contractors to go home in the same state that they came into work…
The next step on your journey to improving the safety environment at work is to enforce what you say you should do – unless you do this, ‘learnt’ behaviour will quickly become the norm and if it is an unsafe practice, then this is going to perpetuate until you put it right.
¹ Judith Hackett – Chair of the Health & Safety Executive writing in the Sun 5th September 2012
² Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 section 37 – Offences by bodies corporate ³ Obtained from The Guardian 31/10/16