The health & safety industry has gone mad!
I think the world has lost sight of why we have Health & Safety (H & S) Management systems. It seems that the focus has changed from “doing the right thing” to “arse covering with a safety management system”.
This change of focus has created a culture of “cashing in on compliance”………. so many organizations are naïve and get misled by companies offering solutions to H & S Management; we have been in the Assessment & Certification industry since 1994 and we have seen it all, from ridiculous to downright fraudulent.
Crazy example of what’s happening out there:
- consultancy companies selling template systems and issuing H & S compliance certificates.
- certification and consultancy companies scaremongering by sending out legal looking letters threatening non-compliance with safety legislation.
- door to door sales people wearing high viz vests selling template manuals for $2,000 plus…. you won’t believe it but some people actually buy them.
- web based systems whereby suppliers complete a web based questionnaire about their H & S systems.
- companies with no accreditation selling Safety Management Certificates… not worth the paper they’re written on.
So many of these companies out there are offering different solutions to H & S Management; they are trying to find new angles and services to make money from the industry. Not many are looking at what is the best solution to reduce workplace accidents.
Health & Safety Management couldn’t be simpler, all it requires is a company to maintain a risk management program.
A Health & Safety Management System usually consists of the following elements.
1. Management Commitment to Health & Safety
The organization demonstrates management commitment to employee Health & Safety by communicating its commitment through policies, staff involvement and a documented Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS).
2. Identification of Hazards
The organization reviews its operations and activities to identify all hazards that could result in harm to employees as well as determining any applicable regulation and legislation.
3. Hazard Assessment
The organization systematically assesses the identified Health & Safety hazards with regards to their significance.
4. Health and Safety Planning
The organization has plans in place to manage and control all hazards that could impact upon Health & Safety of employees.
5. Hazard Control & Monitoring
The organization implements effective controls to eliminate, isolate, or minimise the potential for harm to employees resulting from its operation. It also monitors and measures the effectiveness of these control measures.
6. Accident Reporting, Investigation, and Continuous Improvement
The organization has an effective system to identify, record and action all incidents, accidents and improvement suggestions.
7. Training, Awareness and Competence
The organization identifies training needs, provides necessary training and reviews competency levels with regards to Health & Safety management.
8. Document Control and Control of Records
The organization has processes in place for issuing, controlling, and revising all documents related to the OHSMS.
9. System Review and Verification
The organization verifies the effectiveness of the OHSMS by conducting regular internal system audits and management review meetings.
Taken together these aspects help the organization to continually improve the OHSMS and accordingly the ability to minimise the risk of harm to its employees. Thereby it is important to note that standards does not set any specific requirements for Health & Safety management. They rather set out a framework for organizations to manage their operational Health & Safety hazards in a systematic manner.
Benefits of H & S done well
Addressing health and safety should not be seen as a regulatory burden: it offers significant opportunities. Benefits can include:
- reduced costs;
- reduced risks;
- lower employee absence and turnover rates;
- fewer accidents;
- lessened threat of legal action;
- improved standing among suppliers and partners;
- better reputation for corporate responsibility among investors, customers and communities;
- increased productivity, because employees are healthier, happier and better motivated.
make sense of Health & safety
If you want to have a chat with one of our Health & Safety experts please feel free to contact us today.