What are the new challenges for health and safety? Our recently-appointed Associate Director of Health and Safety, Peter Kinselley, gives his verdict on the the new challenges for the year ahead.
We’re now 4 months into 2018 and you will by now have reflected on your 2017 achievements and begun to plan for into 2019. We are being presented by a number of challenges in the occupational health and safety world; ISO 45001 has finally launched and the impact of Brexit will be felt across Europe as the UK Government continues its negotiations with the EU and trade talks with its global partners. Both topics will impact our clients and their approach to health and safety.
Back in 2006 the UK’s HSE commissioned a review to benchmark the organisational leadership approach to OSHMS and invited a number of international companies from a range of industries to participate. Their findings identified a lack of engagement at the highest levels in business with leaders unclear on their role and personal responsibilities.
The new 45001 standard aims to address this and will challenge organisations to rethink their strategic approach to occupational health and management and risk management. The new standard places emphasis on leadership and aligning health and safety with other corporate objectives. This new approach will be challenge most organisation but it will create a golden opportunity for leadership and stakeholder engagement.
Whilst the new standard does create opportunity we need to be clear on what we want to achieve and why. The focus on why we should develop an OHS Strategy is generally based around the cost of accident, ill health and the risk of prosecution. All 3 affect businesses and individuals negatively but, in my experience, the hidden costs of time taken to investigate accidents, ill-health and follow up action are mostly not considered or reported on. These costs when investigated are usually very high and affect productivity as well as the bottom line.
I would suggest a better approach for business is to work on developing a strategy and solution with the aim is to prevent accidents and ill-health and which proactively encourages leaders, colleagues and key stakeholders to actively engage in and own health and safety. This ownership needs to be led from the top down and is particularly necessary at board level.
Hot Health and Safety Topics
Hot health and safety topics which affect most organisations are mental ill-health, an aging workforce, absenteeism, travel safety, personal safety and fleet costs to name a few. For those business working across several countries this can extend into staff engagement and retention. This is a particular challenge in Eastern Europe and India.
Developing a suitable strategic business approach to health and safety does pose a number of challenges both from the ‘what’ are the issues needed to be considered to launch a program locally to ‘how’ we will resource this.
We recognise that organisations wishing to grow and develop their programmes need a team to advise them on how to grow their OHS programme, develop a strategy which fits and supports the business, its people and key stakeholders. Other organisations are looking to outsource their non-core operation and are looking to providers who can manage and maintain a service that serves the best interest of the business and their people AND is cost effective.
I am delighted to have joined a multi-disciplinary team with a fabulous approach to helping organisations develop their approach to risk management. With the skill set and experience we have we can help you develop your strategy or approach to moving from BS OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001. Or we can help you develop your OHS strategy whether you are an SME or a major global marketplace business. And we have the skill set and resources to assist you implement these solutions.
For more information email [email protected] or call 020 7469 0200.