Assigning health and safety responsibilities across the business

construction site with cranes

Many businesses struggle with ownership when it comes to the management of health and safety at work regulations.

Whilst everyone in an organisation has responsibility for health and safety, if it isn't clearly defined and communicated and there is a lack of visibility, it can fall between the cracks.

It is not always understood that at every level within an organisation there is a legal responsibility for the management of Health and Safety at work regulations, and given the "negative" messaging it attracts, it can also generate a "it's not my job" reaction.

This can be compounded by your workforce not having clarity around their role, knowing exactly what is expected of them, or having the resources to execute them. This can leave the business and your workforce vulnerable.

As a starting point, defining these roles, as shown below, allows everyone to understand their respective responsibilities and exactly what is required of them individually and collectively. 

It allows individuals to understand their part in the process and how what they do relates to their management reporting line, and allows for gaps in capability and competency to be identified.

You can also identify gaps in capability and knowledge; it can be daunting to be given responsibility for something about which you have little knowledge and understanding. This will almost certainly generate resistance in the individual, and a lack of management around health and safety at work regulations.

Use the below diagram to highlight different roles within the business and how health and safety responsibilities should be assigned.

If your Health and Safety Management system can report on performance then this creates the visibility around accountability. This will also create a framework that allows for objectives and KPIs to be set, on which the Health and Safety Management system can report.

For more guidance on health and safety consultancy, get in touch with our team.

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