We have recently delivered IOSH training to a group of managers, discussing in depth what they do in terms of health and safety and what they considered their responsibilities were. Of course, part of this should be defined in the company health and safety policy but as a general rule we would expect the following to be carried out by managers:
- Ownership of risk assessments;
- Regular communication of health and safety matters;
- Time to listen to workers health and safety concerns;
- Routine inspections of the workplace/work activities;
- A system to supervise work activities;
- A training plan to cover local health and safety issues.
These may not be all that might be expected of managers but do provide a core set of responsibilities that will assist an organisation to manage their risks effectively.
You may ask “what if we don`t undertake the above?” In our experience, a failure to undertake these key tasks will impact on how effective health and safety is managed; the result is usually a poor health and safety culture and a far less safe workplace.
So why not go back and take a look at what your policy sets out for managers and audit if the above tasks are a standard in your workplace? Getting it right may well be the difference of managing the risk yourself or having the HSE require you to make improvements under the ‘Fee for intervention scheme’ to be introduced in 2012.