Over the last 3 decades it appears that workplace fatalities have been decreasing on average, year on year. However, recent data shows that this seems to be leveling off.
2016/17 saw 137 workers killed at work in the UK.
The Health And Safety Executive say that, “You do not necessarily need specific training or qualifications to carry out a risk assessment”. The above quote by HSE possibly suggests that almost everyone (within reason) should be able to carry out a Risk Assessment of the work they are undertaking.
OK, they add a caveat to say ” you must appoint someone competent to help you meet your health and safety duties.”
The use of the word “Competent” here is of course vitally important and is there to cover your back should something go wrong, because you can then point to your “Competent” person and divert the spotlight temporarily.
So then the word “Competent” has to be defined (also conveniently vague) “A competent person is someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety.”
I’m not going to get involved in the argument that clearly exists around these phrases, because you can see that the HSE are trying to make it as easy as possible for employers to protect themselves and their employees.
The point I’m making here is that everybody in an organisation should be responsible for their own Health & Safety and that of their colleagues, and employers should not be able to hide behind the phrases that have been used to help them.
Likewise employees should take responsibility if they are working in an environment where there is risk to themselves or others around them. When given the right tools and information, it is no longer difficult to carry out a risk assessment.
“Given the right tools and information, it is no longer difficult to carry out a risk assessment.”
If management could accept that operators are often best placed to carry out (or at least assist in) risk assessments, and in return operators could lose the “Not paid to do that”attitude. I believe we would see a further drop in the number of fatalities in our workplaces.
Now, hands up who wants to see that figure go down!
I believe that the only way we’re going to see that figure come down is through reviewing the entire H&S process and rethinking it right from the beginning.
That’s right. Go right back to the start and with a blank sheet of paper figure out how H&S can be properly and effectively redesigned to match the 21st century.
Like so much legislation today, people don’t always go back to the beginning and start over. They simply add layer upon layer of new requirements, which then contribute to an ever more confusing mass of information, that becomes harder to understand and comply with.
Question is, who’s going to be brave enough to make this change? Who’s going to challenge their culture? and dare to consider opening channels of communication? so that the guys at the top know what’s going on on the shop floor.
Unisaas is your Answer.