The requirement for comprehensive & well managed health and safety management policies within the workplace has never been higher, with many companies often unaware of how extensive their reviews of workplace risks needs to be.
A recent example came from a London based Construction Company which was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £1,046 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations after an apprentice fractured his skull falling more than six metres from a scaffold.
Although time pressures, a lack of resources and other challenges can make it easy for companies to consider cutting corners, it is important that they are proactive in their approach and do not lose sight of the bigger picture when it comes to health and safety management in the workplace.
Health and safety management staff cannot be in all places at all times, so having an “aware” workforce who are willing to both self-regulate and learn from each other goes a long way to help companies manage safety on site.
Those responsible for the management of health and safety in the workplace should look to empower employees at every level, from apprentices to the board of directors. This can be achieved through investing in training either to improve the communication skills and encourage the sharing of best practice, or behavioural safety training to help workers at all levels understand the importance of working safely.
Danny Clarke, Health and Safety / Environmental Department head at Sound Advice commented: “We know that small to medium sized enterprises account for 78 per cent of all occupational injuries, as well as 59 per cent of fatal accidents, so it is extremely important that all businesses realise the importance of health and safety management.
“Companies that have the best record in terms of safety are those that have taken the decision to lead from the front and have appropriate training and communication skills in place. This gives employer’s piece of mind that the workforce are qualified to operate in a way that ensures that health and safety in the workplace is not compromised by those wishing to cut corners or operate in an unsafe way.”