The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) encourages employers to adopt a common-sense approach to managing health and safety; this is essential to any business operation. As an employer, you have a legal and moral obligation to manage health and safety effectively. The Plan, Do, Check, Act approach demonstrates your commitment to assimilate health and safety into standard management practice. Read on to learn more.
How to Plan, Do, Check and Act to Improve Your Company’s Approach to Health and Safety
Your aim must be to ensure that safe and healthy systems of work are in place so that, so far as is reasonably practicable, employees and others who may be affected by your activities do not suffer harm. If carried out correctly, Plan, Do, Check and Act will enable you to integrate health and safety and enable you to instil the right culture into your workplace as part of your overall risk management system. As a starting point, you need to consider where you are now compared to where you need to be, based on legal requirements and best practice.
Top Tips to Improve Health and Safety in Your Workplace
- Plan for how you will manage health and safety, starting with a policy. This can contain broad goals, such as implementing a health and safety management system and achieving continuous improvement in your performance. From these broad goals, you can then go on to develop more specific goals and objectives and thus identify priorities for action. Consult with your employees on the policy, invite feedback and aim to develop a positive attitude.
- Do organise and deliver your health and safety policy to all employees. You should ensure you have the necessary resources to enable you to put your plan into practice. Your level of resources must be sufficient to enable managers and employees to fulfil their health and safety responsibilities. Next, identify your risks and deal with the significant hazards first. Don’t waste time and effort on trivial risks. It’s best to adopt a pragmatic approach by embracing risk reduction and control measures, as opposed to attempting to eliminate risk.
- Check to see how well (or not) you are doing. This means looking at your accidents and injuries, reviewing sickness and ill health records and assessing systems of work, i.e. control measures, against those you have recorded within your risk assessments.
- Act to take steps to continually improve the system. Review your records of ill health, risk assessments, systems of work, errors and experience, including from other, similar organisations. If accidents and near misses are still happening, you will need to establish what you missed at the ‘Plan’ and ‘Do’ stages.
A business that integrates health and safety into its day-to-day operations will be less likely to attract the attention of the Regulator and will enable employees to work safely. So Plan, Do, Check and Act now!