If you want to make sure that your health and safety strategy is adopted as intended and feeds into every area of your business, you need to make safety a key part of your company’s overall culture and core values.
This is the opinion of Simon Jones, Technical Director of Alcumus HSE, who spoke to SHP Online about how to create an effective and successful health and safety strategy within any business.
Part of this is defining what behaviour is considered normal within your organisation. If the norm is to follow health and safety processes to the letter and to flag up any areas where this deviates, this means it’s embedded in your company’s culture.
Mr Jones explained that processes, systems and equipment can only take you so far. “Unless you have the right behaviours and attitudes and safety culture, when interacting with the systems, then the business is perhaps missing part of the health and safety solution,” he stated.
He also offered some advice about how to develop this kind of company culture if it doesn’t already exist in your organisation. The key is to engage people at every level, and that means working on your social skills to get every employee to buy into your approach on health and safety.
Mr Jones also cautioned against treating health and safety as a standalone department. “In my experience, the more you isolate health and safety, the less ingrained it becomes within the organisation as a whole,” he commented.
You could kickstart your efforts in the New Year by reviewing your emergency response plans and running some incident response training and on-site scenarios and exercises to test your emergency preparedness and response.
An area you may want to place a particular focus on is preventing falls from height. Figures published last month by the Health & Safety Executive revealed that this remains one of the leading causes of workplace injuries and fatalities in the UK.