Health and Safety Management in Five Easy Steps
Employers, directors and managers in the UK can be held legally personally responsible for any failure to control health and safety in the workplace. This means that if you/re the person who is responsible for the health and safety issues in your workplace you’ll need to consider how these issues fit in with other vital management systems for controlling production, sales and finance. Most small to medium businesses have fairly simple management structures so you can manage your health and safety in just 5 simple steps.
STEP 1 – SET YOUR POLICY
You’ll need to prepare a safety policy – keep it simple and relevant to your individual business and business premises.
STEP 2 – GET ORGANISED WITH THE 4 C’S
Control – List all of your managers, supervisors and employees then decide who is responsible for which safety issues and duties. Make sure that there are no gaps or overlaps and that everybody knows exactly what they are personally responsible for.
Co-operation – Make sure that you involve every employee at all levels by holding regular meetings and briefings. Listen to what each person has to say – staff who have a voice are more likely to feel valued and this will improve the levels of co-operation.
Competence – Make sure that both you and your staff are adequately trained in health and safety matters. Everybody needs to have the knowledge, experience and skills necessary to work in a safe and healthy manner.
Communication – Written and verbal communication is essential to the success of any management system.
STEP 3 – PLANNING
Think carefully about your business, your business premises, your work equipment and your personnel. Think about anything that could cause harm and what the chances are that somebody will actually be harmed. Then think carefully about whether you have taken the necessary precautions to prevent harm and if there is anything you can do to make the workplace safer. Ste realistic and achievable standards against which performance can be measured.
Methods and frequency of checking the guards on machinery.
Methods and frequency of checking fire safety equipment
Ensure that all electrical appliances are PAT tested (portable appliance testing) including all of the equipment in the staff canteen/break room.
STEP 4 - PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT
Compile check lists and inspection forms that are relevant to your workplace in order to make sure that your standards are being adhered to.
For example, a ladder defect check should include details such as location, date of check, frequency of checks, action taken if a defect is discovered with space for the signature of the person performing the check. If things should go wrong, then learn from the mistake and ascertain whether your check lists and inspection forms need to be altered or updated.
Always carry out thorough and detailed accident investigations and use the information gleaned from these to make policy or procedural changes where necessary.
STEP 5 – AUDIT AND REVIEW
Workplaces and tasks change over time so you will need to monitor your policy, organisation and systems to ensure that you are up to date and can continue to achieve good results.