There is no way to ignore health and safety considerations within any workplace or business, regardless of its size, industry, or work activities it undertakes. It means protecting staff members, workers, the general public, or clients must be a top priority of those responsible for ensuring and optimizing safety in their work premises.
With that being said, this content piece will walk readers through the management’s role when it comes to creating a safe work environment as well as effective strategies to control and manage health risks at work.
Why Is Health & Safety Important?
Good health and safety are a necessity, but they can also be a source of competitive advantage to businesses that helps build trust and reputation within the industry. According to an estimation, there were nearly 1.8 million work-related illnesses in the recent years of 2021-22. These injuries or ill health scenarios resulted in 36.8 million working days lost among the workforce in the UK alone which cost businesses around £18.8 billion to over injuries or ill health from the current working conditions.
This shows the importance of managing safety and health within any working environment and so the duty falls on the managers and supervisors of the staff members undertaking such work.
On the flip side, creating effective policies to manage safety standards help businesses:
- Increase employee productivity
- Reduce sickness absence among employees
- Reduce the number of accidents, injuries, or ill health
- Reduce the downtime occurring due to these accidents or illnesses
- Ensure the workers return home safely at the end of the day
Managers’ Responsibilities in Upholding Health & Safety at Work
Being a safety manager at the workplace, your main duty involves preventing accidents, injuries, or ill health within the work premises.
Alongside this, a wide range of responsibilities include:
- Undertake Regular Risk Assessments
The first and foremost responsibility employers have towards their staff is carrying out regular workplace risk assessments (generic & specific). The process involves inspecting the workplace for identifying significant hazards and putting vital control measures to control and eliminate the risk from the workplace.
- Consult Employees About Health & Safety Concerns
Consulting employees about health and safety issues and their genuine feedback is valuable in identifying workplace hazards and putting necessary controls to reduce them.
- Create Written Health & Safety Policies for Everyone to Follow
Employers are required by law to write health and safety policies if they have more than five workers employed in their workplace. It helps create awareness among staff about relevant safety procedures to create high standards of safety at work.
- Identify Who Needs Protection from Hazards
Employers need to take account of their workers’ safety and health and so they must know who might be affected by the operational activities conducted on their premises.
- Build Effective Communication Channel
Building a good relationship with employees and minimizing workplace hazards can only be possible by having effective communication channels with the staff. Employers are required to conduct open and non-judgmental communication or a short meeting with their employees to understand the root cause of the problem and take reasonable actions to prevent it.
- Provide Proper Safety & Protective Equipment
Providing the right tools and safety equipment to the workers undertaking dangerous work is also a key responsibility of safety managers. They must have proper first aid kits and personal protective equipment required to reduce workplace risks.
- Train the Staff Members & Workers Well
Training and hands-on guidance alongside of regular work are also important factors to consider. Employers need to make sure that new and experienced staff members have enough knowledge to get their job done easily and safely. These training sessions could be online or on-site.
Some of the helpful courses include first aid training, fire safety training, confined space training, IOSH working safely, mental health awareness training, workplace stress training, sickness absence training, and other relevant training courses.
- Provide First Aid to Those in Need
Having a workplace with proper first aid arrangements is also necessary to provide emergency aid to the workers in need until professional help arrives at the location. Employers are liable to have proper arrangements in their work premises.
- Lead by Example
It is also one of the key responsibilities of managers to ensure and shows employees that you take their health and safety duty carefully and provide adequate support and care one needs in problem.
Although health and safety are the key components of creating a secure work environment, it is not one person’s job to be held liable.
While employers and managers are legally required to take reasonable actions and steps to protect the safety of their staff, employees are also liable to follow the instructions deliver to them to follow safety procedures and work practices.
And so, this post has covered some of the key things to be aware of to guarantee a safe and sound work environment for everyone.