Health and safety shouldn’t be about telling people what not to do, it should be about collaborative working to improve the way we do things to make them safer. Health and safety gets a really bad rap from the press, much of which is unfair and sacrifices the truth in search of a lazy headline .
At the core of the health & safety process is a desire to see people go home from work or from visiting an event without getting hurt, or worst not going home at all. Even though some of the safety measures put in place can seem like an inconvenience, the truth is that they are put there not to get in the way but to protect people from harm.
Trying to communicate this ethos to your staff, contractors and the public is a key factor in getting them to engage with your safety measures and be proactive about managing safety on site.
We believe that giving a safety induction to all the people working on site is not only a vital opportunity to communicate to them the risks that have been identified in the safety plan and the control measures that are being implemented on site, but also is an opportunity to put a human face to the safety management of the site and explain why their safety is important.
Involving your team in the safety planning process can also be helpful to engage them in the safe running of your projects. We’ve designed our tools to help people step through the safety management processes meaning that members of your team can contribute to the safety plan, for example by writing the risk assessments for the tasks they are responsible for.
Discussing with your colleagues and staff what could go wrong and how accidents can be avoided not only means that they might identify areas that you may not have thought of but they will also have a clearer idea of what’s in your plan by the fact that they helped to write it.
…Including senior management
Finally it’s vital that safety is seen as something that is important to everyone working on the event and is not just a paper exercise.
Senior management and staff need to show that the organisation is serious about safety by setting the good example of adhering to the same safety rules like wearing PPE (eg. safety shoes & hi visibility vests) and undergoing the same processes (eg. safety inductions) as the rest of the team.
Not only does this help ensure their safety, it also demonstrates that everyone is equally ready to accept some minor inconveniences for the sake of creating a safe working environment.