The biggest risks to employee health and safety stem from a combination of human error and people not fully understanding aspects of the processes – this is generally due to health and safety being approached in a “tick-box” manner. We have worked with many organisations and we still see too many companies adopting a “one-size-fits-all” approach to training, putting staff through the same training and development programmes, no matter their involvement or position in the business. This off-the-peg training can prove to be costly in the long term.
Embracing a successful health and safety culture can help to future-proof your organisation, but before this can happen there are certain aspects that need to be addressed, such as…
- Is there an unwillingness to adopt change, is there a history of ‘this is how things have always been done’?
- Generating a robust safety culture will be time intensive, do management have the time to commit to it?
We can all pay lip service to health and safety, but unless you try to steer genuine improvements employees will not engage and no effective cultural change will be achieved.
So how can your organisation help you to tackle this attitude?
- Management should lead by example, employees will be more likely to follow processes if they are led by example, rather than “do as I say, not as I do!”
- Management should consult with employees to learn more about their tasks and any concerns that they may have about new or emerging risk, listening to staff and understanding the pressures they face may help in formulating safety improvements that are practical to implement.
- Consistency is key, a consistent approach to health and safety will help to reinforce positive behaviour.
- To ensure health and safety is not seen as a “tick-box” exercise, it helps to carry out refresher sessions, to ensure that bad habits are eliminated and best practice sticks. Particular focus should be given to areas where there is a higher turnover of staff.
- Managers need to make sure that any safety equipment or personal protective equipment is fit for purpose. A recent TUC report found that 29 percent of women found their safety equipment to be poor fitting and uncomfortable – raising the risk of injury as a result!
- All too often the role of ‘H&S Manager’ is allocated to a manager just to tick a box and ease the burden on the Managing Director without providing adequate training, a budget or necessary support for that role. By appropriately training managers for the roles they are given, empowers them to build their competence and helps your organisation avoid the price of accidents in terms of injury, fines, and reputational cost. This is where we can help.
- It is also important to learn from accidents, near misses and safety performance indicators to bring about continual improvement.
It is no longer viable to simply react to accidents as and when they occur. Taking a proactive approach can actually benefit your business, as you will save time and money in the long term and reinforce your company’s health and safety culture.
If there is an ongoing issue with health and safety compliance among your workforce, it may be helpful to have a third party like ourselves step in and take the focus and pressure away from the management team. Contact us to find out more and to discuss your business’s needs.