Under current Health and Safety Legislation and Guidance, businesses are required to demonstrate that they are undertaking some form of monitoring of their health and safety management systems and procedures.
As part of the overall risk management strategy of a company, many processes, procedures, documents and forms etc. will be produced and used to manage and reduce those risks identified by the business.
Job done you may think! Regrettably this is not the case. Should a loss event occur (“accident / incident”), then companies are required to undertake an investigation in order to analyse the event to establish what went wrong, or indeed what went well and what improvements are required to prevent a recurrence.
Additionally, HSE intervention may result from such an event, meaning businesses will be placed under the microscope of a potential HSE investigation with accompanying consequences which could include enforcement action, fee for intervention (FFI) charges, or unfortunately a prosecution (or a combination of all these elements). Additional costs may also arise from a civil claim seeking compensation.
Monitoring Health And Safety
One area the HSE will look at, is the company’s procedures for monitoring and ensuring that risk management processes are in place, are being adhered to on site and that any issues / non-compliance’s are fed back up the management chain and actioned.
Companies are required to have access to competent Health and Safety advice under Regulation 7 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and as such should undertake both internal and independent monitoring of site operations to establish both positive practices and / or areas of concern with the businesses risk management policies or procedures.
Monitoring should take the form of audits, inspections, behavioural safety checks and observations, accident/incident and near miss data and be undertaken by all tiers of the management team and by the health and safety team.
Additionally, Directors and Senior Managers should be made aware of these reports and ensure that any necessary corrective actions are addressed in an appropriate and in a timely manner.
Companies that do not engage in a proactive strategy for monitoring their health and safety management systems, run the risk of not knowing whether or not their current systems are appropriate, suitable and sufficient or indeed being followed in practice on site. This could result in a poor defence against any FFI, prosecution, or civil claims.
What Should You Do?
- Ensure that you have access to competent health and safety advice.
- Prepare a monitoring schedule to include inspections and audits both internally and externally at all levels.
- Instigate a clear reporting line with clearly defined responsibilities / accountabilities including the reviewing updating of any risk management processes / documents.
- Ensure that the Senior Management Team have attended an appropriate level of health and safety training, such as the Institute of Directors / HSE recommended 1 day IOSH Safety for Executives and Directors Course. This will ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities for the strategic management of health and safety and put in place the right mechanisms so that they are fully aware of any Health and Safety issues and take the appropriate steps to monitor and close those issues.
- Ensure that training is provided at all levels to ensure the competence of those undertaking any monitoring.
If you wish to discuss any of the above further or how we can assist you with monitoring or any other Health and Safety support, please give Callidus Health & Safety a call on 0113 385 2740.