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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Come on England

  • 10 June 2016 - 09:56

    Most of you are probably bored to death with the wall-to-wall football that has been on TV. Whilst I am writing this England are still in the competition and hopefully will do well, but we do usually get let down mid-Championship. The flags stop flying and we start to pick apart grass-roots football. But why am I even mentioning this? What has football got to do with health and safety?

    You could suggest is it to do with prima donnas talking a load of rubbish and getting paid exorbitant fees for mediocre performance. Well, there may be some H&S advisors out there in that category, but generally speaking that is not the case. 

    What I am saying is that the team that wins the European Championship will probably have the following traits:

    • A good work ethic
    • Great team spirit
    • People with excellent skills and experience
    • Great communication
    • Good management and good planning
    • A clear strategy but with the ability to respond to crises quickly and efficiently
    • A sprinkling of luck.

    So, if you want to be a health and safety champion, apply the same logic.

    A good work ethic is often associated with people being proud of their environment and the business they work for. To be proud of a workplace people need to respect it. Is it worthy of respect? What are the conditions of the welfare area and toilets like? How clear are walkways and paths? When did the offices last have a lick of paint? Invest in a good environment and productivity will improve.

    Encourage your workforce to work as a team. Get them to look out for each other and empower them to challenge their own behaviour, and that of their colleagues and managers. Reward good performance; don’t just criticize when things are wrong. When was the last time you said well done or thanks? Make it a habit.

    Invest in your employees; not just with training, but also with time. Go out and talk about what is working well. Good behaviour encourages better behaviour, but development is important as well. Do you have a training plan? Is it being followed? Do your employees have any ownership over it to make it happen?

    Get communication working with your employees and, if you have one, your health and safety committee. Involve your workforce in key decisions on site development, new equipment selection, and especially the basics such as the risk-assessment process.

    Lead by example, wear the correct PPE and follow the site rules. Every time you step on site you set the example and the standard. Don’t compromise yourself, aim high.

    Establish a health and safety business plan. Set achievable targets for training, inspections, audits and meetings. Regularly monitor progress and tell your team how things are going.

    Set up an emergency action plan, train people and carry out drills.

    To be fair, if you get all that working you won’t have to rely on luck.

    You haven’t got millions to chuck at this and you don’t need to. Get your workforce involved; encourage them to take ownership of health and safety for themselves and their colleagues. Most importantly, establish an environment that has great morale where people are continually looking out for each other.

    Who knows, you may even win a cup!  


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