Published on 3rd May 2012
You’re busy running your business; you have a million and one demands on your time and everyone wants a piece of you. How about health and safety? Is that on your radar? Possibly not…
Decision makers in any organisation need to ensure sensible and pragmatic health and safety management is part of their everyday activities. Here are some pointers, based on the Health and Safety Executive’s four-point agenda for leading on health and safety:
Set the direction for safety, just as you do with everything else you control. Your health and safety policies and systems are your vision statement, setting your culture, values and performance standards. Make sure you know what risks your organisation faces, and how these will be managed. Nominate a Board member or senior member of staff to champion health and safety and give them the resources to make a difference. Always have health and safety as a standing agenda item in Board and management meetings, and have open and frank discussions – if an area is poor, don’t apportion blame, use the time to make it better.
You need an effective health and safety system to protect everyone who may be affected by your activities. This doesn’t mean going overboard with the black and yellow tape, what the HSE is looking for is sensible and reasonable practices.
If you don’t measure it you can’t manage it. Does the Board know how well (or badly) your organisation performs in terms of health and safety? Are resource allocations based on prioritised need, extracted from performance data? It’s absolutely useless to use accident data as your main indicator, use it as part of a suite of information, including proactive measures like the amount of training completed, risk assessments reviewed etc. How would your managers react to having the health and safety performance of their teams linked to their appraisals and performance reviews? Or maybe even to their bonuses? There’s a real driver of delivery.
A formal Board review of health and safety performance is essential. Is your system effective and adding value? Does the policy reflect reality, or does it need updating? Many organisations are so proud of their performance that they include health and safety matters in their annual reports. Every accident you prevent saves an average of £600 of direct and indirect costs to the bottom line – the more serious the accident, the more it’ll cost. Make sure you celebrate success – do you reward your people for great safety performance?
So – there’s a few points to ponder. Manage health and safety in the same professional manner you manage all the other things you have to do and you won’t go far wrong. Do the right things, and keep your people from harm.
Through our partners, Ellis Whittam, Ceridian can provide you with Health & Safety advice as part of its Small Business HR Service. For more information call us on 0800 0482 737.
Or call us on 0800 0482 737
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