In the last three months, I have had the pleasure to train over 100 people in all aspects of health and safety matters. From fire safety to manual handling, from risk assessments to COSHH. But what do managers know about health and safety? The consistent feedback from their current or former workplace goes something like this:
[quote]’That’s all well and good Michelle, but the managers don’t know a thing about health and safety’.[/quote]
This must be a problem for staff in the workplace. When staff know more about health and safety law than their line managers; it’s bound to cause problems with confidence and moral. Not to mention the whole culture issues with regard to health and safety in the workplace. If the managers don’t know enough about health and safety to lead their teams, then the staff will sense this weekness and are less likely to respect their bossess. The benefits of a good health and safety culture are well documented and include:
- Fewer accidents in the workplace
- High staff morale
- Lower staff turnover and absences
- Reduced sick pay costs
- Better company reputation
- Increased staff loyalty
- Lower insurance premiums
- Increased customer confidence
It is essential that managers and supervisors have had appropriate training. Only then can they operate within the law and supervise staff to make sure that they are working safely. Dates for the next health and safety courses in Stockport town centre.
If you would like to discuss health and safety training or if you would like advice on your policies and procedures, contact me.
Graeme Wear says
This is all true, if as you say, employees know more about H&S than their Managers – but in reality not many of them do, other than what they’ve picked up from a mate in the pub. In my experience over many years and both H&S Consultant and trainer, most employees are really not that interested either – on many feedback forms I’ve see, the answer to the question “Why did you attend this course” is often “My manager told me I had to”.
H&S only becomes important in the majority of businesses 10 seconds after there has been an accident…
Michelle Hay says
You’re correct Greame, so it is my job to enlighten the workforce about health and safety and their responsibilities within the workplace. I also teach them what their employers should do for them.
I also agree that most staff are only there because they have been told to attend and by the end of my training, they have accurate knowledge of health and safety and actively want to avoid accidents or incidents when they return to work.
Although, it’s the managers that are sending them on training, I get the impression that the managers themselves do not think that they need the same or more training. In other words, they are relying on the staff to do the right thing and forgettting (or they don’t know) what their role is.
It’s a high risk strategy for any company not to make sure that their managers and supervisors are at least equally aware of health and safety law. Unless you can prove due dilligence, companies have little chance of avoiding prosecution in the event of a serious failing.