All entries for Sunday 09 June 2013
June 09, 2013
I believe that health and safety professionals should make use of scientific and empirical evidence to support their decisions pertaining to policy and practice with regards to the management of health and safety since it is such a critical topic, and of utmost importance of course. Albeit some progress has been made with respect to evidence-based decision making, improving and extending the facilities that support and foster knowledge translation in practice is still challenging. A knowledge infrastructure complimenting health and safety at the workplace should entail scientific support in the form of evidence, strategic reviews, and policy and practice guidelines. In addition, it should also include other tools for professionals and employees, such as accessible virtual libraries and database supporting the provision of knowledge, informative learning materials, and quality tools. A thoroughly organised knowledge infrastructure connects facilities management with practice, as well as each other. Adequate education and training is required for health and safety professionals in using evidence for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of health and safety management. Moreover, health and safety management can also benefit from intensive international collaboration to develop and promote a well organised and functioning knowledge infrastructure.
Planning health and safety management in an organisation focuses on prevention and involvement of risk identification, assessment, and control. Planning proactively entails the identification of hazards, and assessment and control of risks in alignment with a systematic and strategic plan, before anyone or anything could be seriously affected. Planning reactively suggests that appropriate measures are only given consideration after the incidents have occurred such as accidents, loss-damages, or inadequate health and safety performance. In terms of designing the health and safety management structure, the allocation of responsibilities and the division of formal authority should be considered, in addition to creating a lean or hierarchical structure involving an extent of self-regulation. The establishment and maintenance is core to management operations, specifically health and safety management. Allocating responsibilities to leaders, managers and employees serves as a significant tool to foster the amalgamation of health and safety management into everyday work with the aid of specialists and consultants monitoring the performance.
Human resource is an organisation’s most important and difficult to control asset, which is why it is absolutely critical that there is a well designed and thorough policy with regards to it. The development of the policy should entail addressing the preservation and formulation of human and physical resources and decrease in financial losses and liabilities. The policy should provide guidance on the assignment of responsibilities, and the organisation of people, communication, documentation and resources. The policy should be a foundational component of the organisation’s vision statement, and should influence the operation and design of working systems, the management and delivery of products and services, in addition to the control and disposal of waste. The health and safety management policy should be in alignment with the human resource management policy so that the involvement, commitment, and wellbeing of all employees and of other stakeholders such as contractors, suppliers, and customers is secured.
This incorporates the development, coordination and control of a continuous improvement process by defining and moderating health and safety standards at the workplace. There should be a clear written and formal policy with regards to health and safety, summarized in the organisation’s vision. It should entail the perspectives with respect to the future, and provide guidelines on risk identification and prevention for all internal and external members of the organisation. The health and safety policy and management strategy should be translated into the planning process. In order to assess the strategy’s efficacy, both internal and external methods should be implemented. In addition, there should be regular reviews with regards to performance by monitoring activities based on data and from the health and safety management audits.