Health & Safety Development Program for Service Companies
Many small to medium-sized businesses and new event organisers find great difficulty in coming to terms with the requirements of health and safety legislation due to constant pressures on their time, perceived unmanageable bureaucracy, increased costs and the sheer scale of the subject.
Employers have the greatest responsibility to ensure health and safety law is complied with (employees and the self-employed also have theirs). It is a criminal offence to breach statutory health and safety law; offences carry high fines and possible imprisonment. And if that’s not enough, besides injured persons, fatalities, fines and imprisonment there are many hidden costs. These include:
- Loss of reputation - bad press and poor public relations
- Lost productivity and sales
- Low staff morale
- Increased insurance premiums
- Downtime on staff and hired equipment
- Civil claims
- Legal fees and costs
- Lost time and costs during investigations
- Medical costs
- Compensation payments
- Damaged plant and equipment
- Overtime wages to make up lost time
- Replacement labour – recruitment – training
- Fees for Intervention
- Replacement equipment and parts
With this in mind, we now offer a carefully constructed support package to small and medium-sized companies, regular events and tours that is both affordable and effective in establishing a firm foundation in health and safety management. We call this package the ‘Health and Safety Development Program’, based loosely on the Health and Safety Executive’s publication HSG 65, ‘Successful Health and Safety Management’, HSG 65 has in fact been designed for larger businesses so we only apply this system loosely (anything more would be over the top) but it is very effective.
Many think they only need to deal with what goes on when on site (where clients or the authorities can see) but safety starts at the top and has to work down. The Safety Development Program includes your office, yard, workshop, warehouse operations and work on site (as required) in the safety management plan and, just like your financial management systems, a small amount of continuous effort is required to maintain your safety management systems. But be warned: safety is not a “bolt on extra”; you can’t pick it up and put it down when you’re busy. A continuous effort is required or it will not work, its not just a paperwork exercise and remember, accidents have a habit of happening when you’re busy.
Each company is different and requires individual analysis to establish priority areas requiring action. From understanding the essential key legislation and how it applies to your operation, through to designing and assisting with the implementation of viable management systems, you will benefit from constant support.
In reality, you will have programmed practical assistance over a sustained period that will not allow best intentions to fall by the wayside due to those ever-present daily pressures.
Part of the role of the Safety Adviser is to act as a “constant external irritant” who will not allow the program to be pushed on to the back burner for any reason. Health and Safety has to be the first priority.
The Health and Safety Development program will ensure that your company is put on the right track and at the right level for your operation. This will be done on a manageable, step-by-step basis.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) understands and accepts that everything cannot be done at once and that improvements take time. What they will not accept is little or nothing being done with no clear evidence of any commitment to the future development of health and safety management within your operation.
As well as introductory information on the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (the key legislation underpinning regulations and guidelines), the program will include the preparation of a company health and safety action plan developed from a benchmark audit that establishes the company’s current safety status which includes a review of your organisation’s existing health and safety policies and documentation (if any). From the outcomes of the audit can be produced the cornerstone safety planning document, the company Health and Safety Policy. This shows the company’s commitment, organisation and arrangements for implementing health and safety. Training in the concept and use of risk assessment, the key process for achieving a proactive management methodology, is a priority.
Another key feature of the program is that company staff at every level will be involved in contributing to the overall process. The Safety Adviser will be there to inform, guide and encourage a team approach led by the example set by management, but will not be there to do it all.
A clear safety plan covering 12 months (on average but may vary and is often less) is the cornerstone upon which the development program is based with information and action plans delivered in small bite-size chunks to prevent overload. Combined with the constant close support of the Safety Adviser, both on-site and at a distance, it ensures maximum results, you receive information and a helping hand all the way through. You will be given action plans with achievable target times and unlimited telephone and email support on health and safety issues.
Management assistance: where necessary, attendance at clients Health and Safety Committee meetings, including on-going monitoring and assisting with any day-to-day health and safety issues. We see this as proactive management of health and safety.
By the 12-month target, the aim is to have a client company that is not only legally compliant but is also operating as a self-contained unit where health and safety considerations have been fully incorporated into company safety culture. It will have become second nature to incorporate safety needs into everyday commercial projects.
A safety culture is a way in which safety is managed in the workplace and often reflects “the attitude, beliefs, perception and values that employees share in relation to safety”. The cost of joining the program will depend on a number of factors including the location of your business, the size of your operation and the nature of your operations. Payment will be by instalments.
TAKE THE HEALTH CHECK
We have produced an Initial Health and Safety Health Check that we suggest you carry out your self. If you can meet all the requirements of this little check you are well on the way to good health and safety management. The check is available by clicking below.