One cannot argue on the fact that ensuring the management of health and safety at work is an essential component for any organisation. Organisations should perform risk assessment to discover the workplace hazards and apply safety measures to effectively control to ensure they are not harmful for the workforce. It is a primary responsibility of any company head to keep a healthy and safe work environment. A health and safety program or system can act as a roadmap which can be quite handy in focusing our efforts at improving workplace safety. Regardless of the formal name, a health and safety plan defines what needs to be followed in an organisation for preventing accidents and harmful situation at the workplace.
With management of health and safety at work, an organisation ensures its own unique system of health and safety which reflects their way of doing business, how they identify work hazards and in what manner it manages the health and safety of its workers.
Key Component for Management of Health and Safety at Work
As vital as it is for an organisation to prosper in business, a successful health and safety system has to be an important component of the overall business operation. In consultation with the workforce and their supervisors, the organisation’s senior management should create a health and safety policy in written form which can be followed by everyone. A key component of an organisation’s healthy and safety management system is employee’s participation. The organisation’s management should make sure that employees and their health and safety representatives are updated, consulted and trained on every component such as emergency preparations related with their work. In terms of management of health and safety at work, then employee participation is a vital part of it. Proper arrangements should be in place for employee’s health and safety with adequate time and resources so that everyone can participate dynamically in organising, planning, implementing, evaluating and improving management of health and safety at work.
Health and Safety Committee
Furthermore, the establishment and well-organised functioning of a health and safety committee compliant with national laws and practice has to be ensured by the employer along with the proper acknowledgement of the allocated representatives for this particular task.
Proper documentation protocols of the health and safety management system should be developed and provided across the organisational departments in line with their respective size and the nature of their activities. In this way the required compliance can be ensured by management and employees for their particular duties and responsibilities.
Role of Employees
It should be kept in mind that employees have a key role in the successful implementation of health and safety program, as it is the responsibility of every person associated with the workplace. If the top management wants successful outcomes of its health and safety program, then employee involvement must be encouraged actively. The workers must be held accountable in order to ensure that all personnel are doing their part.
In this aspect, the allocation of responsibility, accountability and authority for the development, implementation and performance of health and safety system along with the realization of the relevant objectives are of paramount value.
Understanding the Hazards
Most importantly, we need to have a clear understanding about what comes under the category of hazards before we can control them. In order to do so, different approaches can be used for identifying health and safety hazards such as surveying employees, analyzing records, inspecting the workplace and going through inspection reports. Employees should get proper training in regards to harmful situation that can occur at work and in what way they can protect themselves from those hazards. An effective way to achieve this is using project and work-related toolbox talks. The organisation management must put strong emphasis on the record keeping of all training to identify any area of improvement.
Moreover, the required criteria of competence such as work experience, education and training has to be clearly defined as part of the organisation’s management of health and safety at work. Likewise, suitable arrangements should be formed and maintained to confirm that every worker has received needed training. In that way it will be assured that the employees carrying out the health and safety aspects of their responsibilities are competent for the given job. The value of this component gets more important when it comes to the fresh and young employees in particular. As far as the small business entities are concerned, usually they don’t have substantial funds to pay for in-house safety and health professionals. Therefore, a practical guide should be established with workers input to adjust it with the unique needs of the organisation. Similarly, the feedback of H&S consultants and workers’ can also come handy for establishing health and safety practices.
If you are looking to implements an ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety management system or just want support with health and safety inspections or audits, then contact us for a free consultation on how we can support with your project.