Need to know: Health & safety

With responsibility for health and safety high on the corporate agenda, there is no better time to take advantage of a range of initiatives to help you build a more health and safety-conscious workplace.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has worked with a number of businesses as part of a campaign seeking to show that sensible health and safety management is not only beneficial for staff but good for a business’s bottom line too.

An integrated approach
‘Managing health and safety cannot be viewed in isolation from managing a business overall. The studies we have done highlight the contribution that good communications, sound training and development and worker involvement make,’ asserts Timothy Walker, director general of the HSE.

One of the businesses taking part included hotel chain Hilton UK and Ireland. Douglas Cameron, safety and security risk director, hopes that the company’s experience will be an inspiration to smaller players.

‘It’s down to getting rid of the fear concept that surrounds the word “safety”. We are very driven by corporate social responsibility. We feel that the HSE approach has given us the opportunity to take stock and to learn at the same time. My view is that you can never do enough. The process has been a great motivational tool for management.’

Self-assessment online
The HSE has also recently launched The Health and Safety Performance Indicator, a self-assessment online tool to help businesses identify health and safety issues and which provides guidance on ways of improving health and safety management.

It also enables users (who remain anonymous) to compare themselves to other businesses by using benchmarking features and, perhaps more importantly, it can help firms achieve better terms on liability insurance by demonstrating good practice to insurance brokers.

The Indicator works by asking the user to state how often their employees perform tasks involving manual handling, hazardous materials, machines or stress. It also bases its conclusions on the frequency and scale of past incidents in the workplace.

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Alan Dobie

Alan Dobie

Alan Dobie was assistant editor at Vitesse Media Plc before moving on to a content producer role at Reed Business Information. He has over 17 years of experience in the publishing industry and has held...

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