Safety leaders are key to setting the standards and guiding principles behind organisational culture and expectations around how work is conducted.
As a leader in your business, you have a moral and a legal obligation to ensure that the right standards are being set for health and safety. Success is achieved through accepting this responsibility, learning from challenges, and taking steps to create positive change.
Building an effective culture around safety plays a critical role in ensuring every worker gets home safely at the end of each day.
The components of safety leadership are the same, regardless of industry or the size of a business
Having policies that establish the business’ commitment to standards of safety, expectations of conduct, and positive safety outcomes is important.
By championing safety in policies, an organisation sends a clear message regarding these commitments and their expected standards from employees, contracted workers, and suppliers
Organisations may have employees who are in dedicated health and safety roles such as Head of HSE, Safety Officer, or a HSE Coordinator. In the case of smaller organisations, safety leaders may be the owners, committees, or others who take on aspects of the function.
In either case, these individuals play their part in setting the standards around safety and taking responsibility for ensuring that these are complied with.
Resourcing safety involves allowing time for people to plan for and carry out activities such as setting safety targets and goals, record keeping, conducting inspections, attending training and forums, and integrating safety requirements in their work across an organisation.
There are soft costs and hard costs, including salaries of safety officers, consultancy costs, employee time spent conducting risk assessments, personal protective equipment, tools and measuring instruments for safety, and signage.
Understanding & Controlling Risk
An essential component of leadership in safety is a solid understanding of risk and setting the tone around how risk is managed within the business. To stay abreast of developments in industry and expectations around risk, a leader should be aware of, or be connected to regulators, industry experts, and research.
Employers have a duty to eliminate risks to health and safety, so far as reasonably practicable, and can fulfil their due diligence by utilising the Hierarchy of Control.
In the event that an incident does occur, it is important to identify the root cause, determine what is needed to prevent a recurrence and then communicate the outcomes to the rest of the organisation.
A safety leader should be prepared to spend time understanding the contributing factors to that incident so that ultimately a recurrence can be prevented, and processes are improved for the future.
Measuring & Benchmarking Performance
“What gets measured gets done.” Without measurement, it is not possible to understand the true value of an implemented control. A safety leader should strive to measure and understand benchmarks of performance and check regularly to observe change, trends, and improvements.
Feeding learnings back into the Safety Management System
Safety leaders are always striving to do better by bringing their organisation forward in health and safety standards and practices. Through audits, assessments, and reflecting on past performance and occurrences, learnings can be fed back into a safety management system and converted into adjustments, new initiatives, training, and adaptations in order to ensure the system is effective and fit for purpose.
Partnering with other Safety Leaders for Business Success
When an organisation has a safety culture, it will be reflected in how it approaches work with other organisations.
Expectations will be placed on suppliers and contractors, and only organisations that meet their standards of safety will be engaged. Contractor Prequalification is an important process in ensuring compliance by only engaging contractors that have the credentials to get the work done safely and correctly. A business will often have preferred contractors that have been prequalified for work with them before and are frequently re-engaged for future projects.
Similarly, an organisation that offers a service will also be more inclined to accept work with other organisations that share its value of safety. It is important to know that the standards you expect on your sites is also being enforced on the work sites of others that you are engaged to work for.
By communicating and collaborating around health and safety, organisations can form strong partnerships that bear fruit from safe, compliant, and efficient working relationships.
How EHS Software Assists Safety Leaders
EHS software enables organisations to collect, analyse and report on environmental, health and safety data, and in turn manage risks and improve performance.
There are numerous benefits to utilising digital solutions to compliment all the systems, policies, and processes that an organisation has in place. Primarily, the move away from paper and spreadsheet-based systems unlocks efficiencies in processing, integration between previously siloed data, automated reporting, and the ability to enforce standardisation.
The initial costs of implementing EHS software are almost always outweighed by the long-term benefits and cost savings. By working with a solutions provider, you can structure your systems around the duties and standards of your industry. This saves time by streamlining the collection and reporting of data for audits.
Cm3 is used and valued by leaders in safety from both client and contractor organisations. By setting standards for engagement and collecting and tracking credentials, Cm3 facilitates successful partnerships between clients and contractors based on a shared focus on safety and compliance.
To learn more, contact the Cm3 team today.