Health & Safety Management: Why Your Health And Safety Practices Should Be A Two-Way System1 July 2022
How effective is your Health and Safety Management System at protecting your employees? Does it account for real-world risks that your team encounters? If the answer to the second question is ‘no’ or ‘unsure’, then your current Health and Safety Management System is likely to be insufficient in protecting your teams. Don’t panic! We were in the same position a few years ago when we launched our internal Health and Safety initiative, Take Care Be aware.
Take Care Be Aware
Launched in 2013, we introduced Lucion’s Take Care Be Aware (TCBA) initiative to promote a positive health, safety, environmental and sustainability culture. The initiative was eveloped on the basis that our health and safety systems would be shaped by feedback from our individual team members who are on-site and in-office. Team members were encouraged to submit TCBA observations; suggestions for new or improvements on current standard health and safety practices, reports of near misses and accidents. Our system would operate on 3 key principles:
TCBA observations were to be submitted via our NexGen system, reviewed by our assurance team and then introduced into our standard Operational Procedures. Effectively, our health and safety policies and practices are informed by every individual team member, creating a continuously adaptable and applicable Health and Safety Management System.
However, despite extensive collaborative work on promoting a positive health and safety culture amongst our team members, we concluded our efforts were falling short. A key foundation we were missing was our teams' engagement with the initiative.
Why Our Team’s ‘Buy In’ Was Imperative To Our Success
Research conducted by Gallup in 2016 evidenced that organisations with higher employee engagement rates also experienced fewer occupational-related accidents/incidents.
“[...] organizational culture matters a great deal to employee safety. Cultures in which employees are engaged in their work are safer places to work. Gallup's 2016 meta-analysis study -- which examined more than 82,000 business units and 1.8 million employees in 230 organizations, across 49 industries and in 73 countries -- shows that business units with engagement scores in the top quartile of Gallup's employee engagement database have 70% fewer safety incidents compared with bottom-quartile units.” Business Journal: Engaged Workplaces Are Safer for Employees.
Quite simply, an engaged workforce is a safe workforce. A safe workforce reduces associated costs of accident/incident-related absence days, but more importantly, a safe and engaged workforce who know their employer has a genuine vested interested in their individual health and safety (both at work and at home) builds a foundation of trust between employee and employer.
How Have Lucion Improved Employee Engagement?
After reviewing the success of the TCBA initiative, it was clear we needed to improve employee engagement. By improving our employee engagement and evidencing that their TCBA observations and suggestions would enact real change, our health and safety policies and operational procedures would be more effective and beneficial for both our team and the organisation.
The key to improving our employee engagement is communication.
Communication Is King
Whilst we had a thorough Health and Safety Management System in place and implemented our TCBA initiative, the amount of TCBA observation submissions and suggestions for improvement remained low. This, in turn, resulted in a lack of engagement and implementation of our health and safety practices by our team members. During a review of the initiative and feedback from our annual employee engagement survey, it was revealed that our internal communications fell short of our team members’ needs, leaving them disengaged and unaware of new changes to health and safety practices. The harsh reality was our two-way feedback system for improving our health and safety practices were useless without an effective communication strategy.
Upon this realisation, we reviewed how we were communicating with our teams and focused on improving:
- Implementing a cohesive communications instant messenger platform for all team members
- Transparency of all management, contractual and procedural changes
- Team meeting attendance and engagement
- TCBA Representative and Assurance team member profile awareness
- TCBA why and how to submit observations, suggestions and near misses
- Continuous review of our communications strategy and reflecting feedback from all team members
The Results Are In!
Since implementing our cohesive internal communications strategy we have achieved year on year growth in the amount of TCBA observation submissions. This has enacted substantial changes in our health and safety practices, resulting in less accidents and overall safer working practices for our staff, clients and their customers. Communication has had a direct and positive effect on reducing the number of accidents/incidents on site and whilst driving (through introducing our MORR policies).
Sustainable Services Through Sustainable Practices
Through our continued commitment to improve and develop our Health and Safety Management System, we are proud to have been awarded two prestigious, internationally recognised, awards from RoSPA for our outstanding health and safety practices.
We will continue to develop and improve our health and safety practices. By increasing our engagement with our team members we are looking to create a cohesive, real-world Safety Management System that benefits our team and the organisation, demonstrating to our clients and the industry that the Lucion Group and it’s companies are trusted suppliers of sustainable environmental and health and safety services.
About the Lucion Group
Lucion Group is a purpose-driven company where we protect people from hazardous environments and protect the environment from the impacts of people. As a private equity-backed business, we are sustainable, interesting and continue to grow and push forward to secure our future as a business not only for our investors but for our community of people.
We started our business as a hazardous materials inspection, testing and consultancy on a mission to protect people from hazardous environments. As we grew the business, we naturally expanded, organically and through acquisition. This led to opportunities to also protect the environment from the impacts of people. We are now a group of companies on a mission to protect people and planet.
Our culture has not been manufactured or created for the purposes of the business, but instead it formed naturally through the interactions of our people and developed from our operations. Through our scientific testing activities as our founding service lines, we have always had to operate with integrity, accuracy and ultimately be trusted to deliver our services. This integrity, and all our values are reflected in our operations across the business.
As a group we will continue to grow. Our 2022/2027 5 year vision outlines our continual direction towards protecting people and planet. This includes continuing to find new and innovative ways to invest in our health and safety practices.
Health and Safety Risk Assessment Template
Risk Assessments are part of the risk management process and are included in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations. A Risk Assessment is a process of identifying what hazards currently exist or may appear in the workplace. Utilise our Risk Assessment PDF example and template to help conduct your own Risk Assessment.
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Health and Safety Policy Template
Get organised and allocate responsibilities to certain team members using this easy to use Health and Safety Policy template provided by our health and safety consultants at Lucion Consulting.
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Method Statement Template
A method statement is a description of how the work will be carried out safely, in a logical sequence exactly how a job is to be carried out in a safe manner and without risks to health. Use of Method Statement template to help write your method statement.
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