Unfortunately it is all too common for accidents to happen within the workplace, but why should management be to blame for the actions of their staff? It is an often asked question, but typically management skills, or lack of said skills to be precise, can be the source of many major incidents.
Lack of leadership for example, not planning in advance, not taking preventative action, can all impact. If sufficient planning and training is not undertaken from word go, how can a workforce be expected to work safely with part knowledge or no knowledge at all about the skills to implement and best practice.
Another major issue is time. We often hear managers quote that during busy periods, they're too busy to audit, monitor and implement their health and safety systems, while during quiet periods in business their time is concentrated on marketing their business. If a simple, yet effective safe system of work isn't programmed into a businesses daily activities, accidents are waiting to happen.
When an incident does happen, a commonly heard comment is; 'I don't see how this applies to me?'. As a manager of a team, what they should be saying is 'why exactly did the incident happen, what can we learn from this and most importantly, how can we prevent it from happening again?'.
Here is our top 10 essential management skills to ensure a healthy and safe workplace:
- Positive leadership is essential - Lead by example.
- Be open to advice and seek help and support with your health and safety procedures when you need it.
- Consistently monitor, audit and develop your health and safety procedures
- Keep systems as simple as possible.
- Avoid blame culture at all costs - it can be very destructive
- Be quick to react and adapt to changing legislation
- Continually learn from others, whether it be individuals, businesses or industries, then develop and improve.
- Communication is paramount.
- Assume responsibility and react accordingly.
- Guidance, training and experience lead to quality skills.
You can learn more about managing safely and IOSH accreditation here: www.iosh.co.uk/en/Training/Our-training-products/Managing-safely-course.aspx
A health and safety consultancy can provide the following:
- Health & safety audits
- Risk assessments
- Drafting health and safety policies
- Full out-sourcing of health and safety services
- After-incident support
- Comprehensive health and safety training