Health & Safety – 5 Top Tips
- Who is your ‘Competent Person’: Under the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999, a company must designate a ‘competent person’ who is able to help you meet the requirements of health and safety law. This may be a current employee, team of employees or an external consultant. The individual must be able to demonstrate suitable experience, training and knowledge with regards to the management of health & safety.
- Risk Assessments: Ensure that these are in place for any activity that has the potential to cause harm and that they are communicated to all relevant staff – It is highly recommended that the communication of the risk assessments is recorded as this is clear evidence that the persons who are affected by them have read, understood and accepted information surrounding the hazards presented to them, and the control measures that should be followed when carrying out the activity.
a. They should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis (at least annually). Note: if you employ 5 or more persons, you are legally required to document your risk assessments.
- Lead by example:It is important that all Senior Managers set the example of Health & Safety in the workplace. Do you follow procedures set out in your management system correctly? Do you talk about Health & Safety and actively promote a positive attitude towards it?
a. If you don’t set the standard, what message is this sending to your employees? In order to promote a positive culture to Health & Safety, you need to lead by example.
- Record ‘Near Misses’: ‘Near Misses’ are events that didn’t actually cause any harm, but have the potential to do so – if ignored, such near misses can easily turn into accidents.
a. Near Miss reporting is a great learning tool and can help avoid accidents in the future. Look at the key learnings from near misses, put sensible and reasonable measures in place & communicate your findings with colleagues.
- Ensure good communication: Is health and safety discussed openly and specified as an agenda item at team meetings? By simply talking about the subject, it can greatly assist in awareness for all in the business.
By Nathan Jones, Head of Health & Safety at Club Insure Risk Management