Health and safety management is a critically important element of the overall management of any business or organisation. It is just as important as other management systems or segments such as production, operations, procurement, etc. Health and Safety (H&S) management must also be fully integrated into the whole organisation, or across the entire workplace.
What is Health and Safety Management?
Health and safety management is the implementation of a formalised framework system to help organisations take a structured and logical approach to manage health and safety risks and achieving legal compliance.
The system can be structured and implemented in any way to meet local legislative requirements or to a formal set safety management system or safety standard structure, which is audited to meet and achieve certification to international standards such as ISO 45001. There is no specific safety legislation legal requirement to implementing a health and safety management system, but the elements, procedures, and parts that make up the management system are often the legal requirements, such as performing safety audits, incident investigations, risk assessments, or hazard identification and emergency planning, etc.
The successful implementation and management of occupational health and safety require a team approach. A team that is prepared to work together to mold and develop a system and structure, to suit their unique work environment, structural layout and requirements, over time in order to succeed. The very important Health and Safety or Safety Committee, consisting of supervisors and employees, assists the organisation with health and safety management.
What are the benefits of Health and Safety Management?
Listed below are some of the well known benefits of an efficient and effective health and safety management:
- Positively impact the bottom line and reducing direct and indirect accident or ill health costs
- Reduce insurance premiums
- Ensure legal compliance – MHSWR (Regulation 5)
- Manage foreseeable safety risks, health risks and control risks through all levels of the organisation through good risk management
- Improve workforce morale and share safety information and other use full information
- Ensure clear allocation of safety roles and responsibilities
- Respond to concerns where identified such as health issues and safety issues
- Ensure a consistent approach across the organisation
- Demonstrate responsible management through the safety program / OHS management system and
- Secure business from certain customers by demonstrating a good safety culture with continuous improvement
The elements of health and safety management or the system?
Many organisations utilise a Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) approach, which provides guidance on the different elements of management or a system.
Plan – Policy and Planning
Do – Risk profiling and Organising the 4 C’s
4 C’s: Control – Cooperation – Communication – Competence Implementing plan
Check – Measuring performance and Accident investigation
Act – Reviewing performance and Lessons learned
The 4 C’s:
Control – visible, felt leadership, effective supervision appropriate to the level of risk
Co-operation – need to consult with workforce and between client & contractors,
Communication – two-way communication between management and workforce.
Competence – for all job roles, training to develop competence. Specialist advice on ergonomists, occupational hygienists, noise specialists, etc.
By utilising all these elements above the health and safety management system should be comprehensive and effective and should then ensure compliance within the working environment.
Why conduct a review of the health and safety management system?
A scheduled review should occur when necessary, which could be annually, or as determined by the health and safety committee with management approval. There may be recommendations made for review based upon poor safety performance, or there is not a safe workplace and therefore corrective action will be required.
Workplace systems and procedures change and by conducting a thorough review there is an opportunity to adjust and improve the management and system. Review can be achieved by monitoring, auditing, inspecting the workplace, the work activities, or tasks performed. The participants of the review should include senior managers, employees, and consultants who work together with an understanding to continuously try to improve health and safety management.
Management responsibilities for implementing health and safety in an organisation
Occupational Health and Safety will always be an important priority for all workplaces requiring management support through the allocation of human, financial and infrastructural resources and encouraging a positive, no-blame, interactive and effective health, and safety culture.
Together with the support of an accredited and professional health and safety training and management system service provider, an organisation is able to ensure continual improvement and health and safety management compliance. With commitment and support from top management health and safety management will improve.
Management must ensure that their Health and Safety team is trained on the necessary NQF level accredited courses, which Absolute Health Services provides. Learners then obtain further information and improve competencies. Courses include such as:
Absolute Health Services Accredited Courses:
- Health and Safety Officer course;
- Health and Safety Supervisor course;
- Health and Safety Representative course;
- 16.2 Workshop;
- First Aid,
- Evacuation planning, and more
By training the workplace employees in accredited health and safety management or OHS compliance courses, using a team management approach, the organisation has a knowledgeable and competent health and safety team. This team is then able to assist management with implementing and continually improving their health and safety management.
Absolute Health Services also provides health and safety management consultancy services and assists, clients, with implementing ISO 45001 and ultimately achieving certification. Contact us on our website and one of our Health and Safety Specialists will assist you with your needs and requirements.