It’s often said that hindsight is a wonderful thing and it’s just a shame we didn’t know about a problem before it goes wrong. However it’s interesting to look at how often some people and some businesses will make the same mistakes time and time again.
We regularly are told health & safety is just common sense; yet every day the HSE post cases of prosecutions on their website of stupid things that have occurred in businesses across the UK. Our response has always been yes it should be common sense; unfortunately it’s not that common and therefore cannot be relied upon.
Have you taken the time to look at what your business would do in the event of something going wrong? Would there be an investigation or would someone just assume they know why it happened; a common occurrence that we see. If this is the case how would the business learn from its mistakes and what would stop it happening again and again?
Most businesses know they need to have risk assessments in place to cover what they do and some will do this very well. Unfortunately not all risk assessments are the same which requires thinking, effort and a reasonable knowledge of health & safety to ensure they done properly and are not just a paper exercise. Some seem to forget this is a process that will keep their people and business safe; so surely it’s worth doing properly isn’t it!
Because it can be very difficult to predict everything that might go wrong the law recognises that a business needs to manage reasonably foreseeable risks. That’s when it becomes so important to be wiser after the event and to ensure the causes of the problem are properly explored and that the risk assessment is updated to reflect this new knowledge.
Was it Forest Gump that said stupid is what stupid does – which suggests that we need to be more intelligent when we know of a problem rather than just keep making the same mistake.