Knowing how much health and safety failures could potentially cost your company is vitally important for a number of reasons:
- You need to know what factors could cause harm and identify who might be harmed by them, this includes your employees, visitors and members of the public
- You then need to decide on the best approach to prevent these situations from occurring; take action in a planned way, and be sure to record every step that you are doing
- You then need to keep checking at periodic intervals that the actions taken are still working
- This method is also known as the Plan, Do, Check and Act method.
Plan: As a management team, your company needs to sit down and agree on an effective health and safety management policy. The policy that is produced needs to be an integral part of your organisation’s culture.
Ensure that your policy is communicated effectively to everyone within the organisation.
Make sure that the subject of Health and Safety has a regular slot on your meeting agendas.
Consider making a health and safety “champion” to be the figurehead and face of health and safety, responsible for a company wide positive health and safety culture
Do: You will have to have an effective management system in place in order to successfully implement your health and safety policy.
Ensure health and safety arrangements are well resourced, ensure that you have received good health and safety advice and be sure to involve employees in decisions that affect their own health and safety
Check: Monitoring and reporting is essential.
Keep audit records to demonstrate the effectiveness of management structures and risk controls for health and safety.
Review the information that is held regularly and implement small cycles of change to continuously improve the policy and its implementation
Act: A formal programmed and documented review of your health and safety performance is essential.
This will allow you to establish if the principles have been embedded in the organisation and it will also tell you if your system is effective in managing risk and protecting people