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#1 Posted : 01 March 2002 00:04:00(UTC)
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Posted By Ian Harper
I am doing some research for a project and would welcome input from my fellow safety professionals.

Health and safety is sometimes complied with or sometimes left for later or just prior to a visit from the HSE or just after an accident or enforcement action.

I'm after the views of why some managers working in similar roles or departments do not embrace safety whilst others do.

e.g.

They see safety as a regulatory driven cost.

Poor communication between safety professional and manager.

Expenditure without cost.

Lack of resources.

Acceptance of differing levels of risk between parties etc.

Loss percieved as minimum or acceptable.

Any help would be appreciated, or you can email me direct in strict confi.

Thanks


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#2 Posted : 03 March 2002 15:14:00(UTC)
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Posted By Phil Douglas
Ian,

There are many reasons put forward for not managing H&S, in many cases people aren’t convinced by the old moral, legal and financial reasons for doing so, sad really.

When you think about the amount of H&S information out there including good practice and research, accident experience etc, you would think that people would learn, but they don’t and finding out why is one of the most interesting aspect of H&S, finding the obstacles and breaking them down, leads to compliance! Utopia for us Safety Practitioners so lets move on….

A good starting point for your research would be to read; the HSC, (1993), Advisory Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (ACSNI) Study Group on Human Factors, Third Report, Organising for Safety, ISBN 0 11 882104 0

It’s an excellent document that will provide you with much of what you need, it is without doubt, essential reading for all person who want an insight into some of the obstacles to managing H&S.

It points out that the safety performance of an organisation is directly related to several key aspects of how that organisation works, and is more greatly influenced by management aspects that are not traditionally part of H&S; like

(a) Effective communication, leading to commonly understood goals, and means to achieve the goals, at all levels in the organisation;
(b) Good organisational learning, where organisations are tuned to identify and respond to incremental change;
(c) Organisational focus, simply the attention devoted by the organisation to workplace safety and health;
(d) External factors, including the financial health of the organisation, or simply the economic climate in which the organisation is working and the impact of regulatory bodies such as HSE.

As most of the above are missing in organisations, its no surprise that it takes a visit from HSE to kick start a change.
Good luck with the research, much of what you will find is probably already out there, I am presently working on the solutions, which in many ways are not difficult, just difficult to implement!

Phil MIOSH RSP









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#3 Posted : 04 March 2002 16:26:00(UTC)
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Posted By Jim Walker
I read somewhere - most likely this site, that the time most people became very interested in H&S was whilst waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
In my experience this is very true.
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#4 Posted : 04 March 2002 17:05:00(UTC)
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Posted By David Scott
Oh how we would all like managers to manage their departments including safety!
One of the main problems, as I view it, and have experienced, is that many managers have got there on the strength of their technical abilities for the job in hand rather than the whole job. Not only from a safety perspective but also in man management and organisation. Many are probably totally unaware of their responsibilities to their employees under the HASAW Act and the potential consequences.
So what am I saying, lack of training for the wider managerial role is most often the problem of managers not managing safety in their areas of concern. Thats where we, us safety pros come into our own and spread the word!
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