When the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) identifies serious breaches of health and safety legislation, it will look to who is ultimately in control, who is running the business, and whether or not you are fulfilling your responsibilities.
So what type of evidence will persuade the HSE that directors and senior managers are fulfilling their responsibilities?
Accidents will happen in the workplace, and quite often directors will struggle to prove they’ve done all the right thing when a health and safety inspector is asking them difficult questions. It sis crucial that you know your health and safety policy, your statement of intent, roles and responsibilities and the description of your arrangements. How will the Board oversee health & safety, is it discussed at Board level and have you allocated responsibility amongst each level of management within the business for example.
We would recommend that you nominate a director with responsibility for health and safety. However, ensure that there’s a proper understanding that this individual is simply overseeing the work of the board, not taking away from its collective responsibility.
To fulfil their health and safety duties, directors need to have a reasonable level of understanding of the issues and risks within their organisation.
Having a briefing for directors on health and safety responsibilities is a good way of boosting competency and recording that they’ve been trained. One aspect of the briefing should be a reminder of the rules to be followed on site. It is also worth pointing out at this point that authorities are still carrying out checks on coronavirus precautions despite the easing of restrictions. Attendance at seminars and webinars are a good way to build you knowledge too around H&S. Keep an eye out on our website for all the latest offerings
Directors must lead by example, being aware of the damage caused to safety culture if they are not seen to be following the rules themselves.
It’s too easy for directors to make incorrect assumptions about what’s happening on the ground. Directors should therefore receive regular reports as well as take steps to get direct and truthful feedback from staff. If you need a template for this, speak to your Spectra consultant, as with any of the topics covered in the newsletter.