24 August 2020
The board of any firm has the legal right to ensure Health and Safety practices within their workplace. With the everchanging legal requirements, this blog discusses ways to create an effective policy.
It’s complicated being a company director these days; especially with the regulation and legal requirements. The legislation has changed for employers in England and Wales with those charged with gross negligence manslaughter facing much stricter punishments. This includes life in prison for the most serious cases.
Health & Safety is just one area with pitfalls and traps for the unwary director. This blog post is aimed at providing sources of information for business owners, directors and line managers who need to put in place or oversee their organisation’s Health and Safety arrangements. It draws attention to HSE guidance which is intended to provide effective and practical Health & Safety management which benefits both the business and its employees.
Plan, Do, Check, Act
HSE outlines a ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’ approach. They believe this achieves a balance between the systems and behavioural aspects of management. It also treats Health and Safety management as an integral part of good management generally, rather than as a stand-alone system.
The high-level descriptions may vary, depending on the industry or sector you are working in, but a summary of the actions involved in delivering effective arrangements and how they are frequently described is given under the headings of Plan, Do, Check, Act.
HSE’s guide also contains information about profiling and assessing risk. It says:
Effective leaders and line managers know the risks their organisations face, rank them in order of importance and take action to control them. The range of risks goes beyond Health and Safety risks to include quality, environmental and asset damage, but issues in one area could impact in another.
Although you may not use these precise terms, you will most likely have built a risk profile that covers:
- the nature and level of the risks faced by your organisation;
- the likelihood of adverse effects occurring and the level of disruption;
- the costs associated with each type of risk;
- the effectiveness of the controls in place to manage those risks.
There is no specific mention of lone working, but the guide has universal application and will help in identifying risk to your lone workers which may arise from delivering your particular products and/or services. It will also help in identifying what you need to do in mitigation.
This is a comprehensive and sensible document and one which requires you to extract what is relevant to your business.
It contains practical information, guidance and advice on every aspect of incorporating a healthy and safe working environment into your daily operations. It includes subjects such as; measuring performance, investigating accidents and incidents, reviewing performance and learning lessons.