Chapter 15 : Health & Safety Advice at Work 1
Chapter 15 :
Health & Safety
Advice at Work
Jean F. Baylon
BSBA4 – Mktg. Mgnt
Mrs. L. Fernandez
Chapter 15 : Health & Safety Advice at Work 2
Why health and safety is important
o Hazards at Work
o The Cost of Safety Failure
o Underlying Principles
o Risk Control Measures
o ‘Where Are You Now?’
o Working Together
o Don’t Delay - Get Started Today!
Chapter 15 : Health & Safety Advice at Work 3
There are risks associated with every workplace. In some industries, the outcome of a
typical incident may be relatively slight, for example an office worker shaken and upset by
slipping on a wet floor. In other industries a typical incident can have far more severe
consequences, such as a farmer pinned beneath an overturned tractor, a building worker
hurt in a fall, or a factory worker caught up in machinery.
Industrial accidents create not only personal grief and distress but also huge fin ancial
costs and unwelcome negative publicity for the organisation and industry concerned. They
are of great interest and concern to all of the organisation’s stakeholders eg employees,
managers, shareholders, local residents and businesses, and suppliers.
In a modern society, people will not allow organisations to ignore the impact of their
activities on surrounding communities. Not all of the stakeholders have the same interests.
In meeting their health, safety and environmental responsibilities, businesses have to strike
a balance between conflicting interests.
When a firm puts forward a safety
recommendation, its shareholders will want to know the cost of implementing it, whilst
employees are more likely to ask how many illnesses, injuries or deaths it is likely to prevent
Why health and safety is important?
Hazards at Work
Whatever sort of business you are, there is always the possibility of an accident or
damage to someone’s health. All work exposes people to hazards, be they: loads which have
to be manually handled; dangerous machinery; toxic substances; electricity; working with
display screen equipment or even psychological hazards such as stress.
Chapter 15 : Health & Safety Advice at Work 4
The Cost of Safety Failure
The reason there are not even more
accidents and diseases caused by work is
because systems of prevention are in place
which have been built up over generations.
Safety does not come about by accident: most
accidents happen because they have not been
prevented. Yet despite all the precautions that
are taken in the UK, there are still over 600,
000 workplace injuries every year as well as 1.8
million cases of ill health caused or made more
In 2010/11 26.4 million working days were lost due to workrelated illness and workplace injury.
Even small businesses have accidents. Accident rates in small
businesses can be higher than in large operations(for instance
the fatality rate in SME manufacturers is twice that of large
Attention to health and safety is not just about being socially responsible. It also
makes good business sense and you should regard it as just as important as the achievement
of any other key business objective.
Of course, working out what modern health and safety law means for your business
can be quite a headache. But don’t be put off. Yes, on the face of it there do seem to be a lot
Chapter 15 : Health & Safety Advice at Work 5
of regulations and there is a lot of supporting guidance, but the underlying principles are
really quite straightforward.
Essentially you have to ensure absence of risk to safety and health of employees and
others ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’.
System in place to Manage Health & Safety
You have to have a system (e.g. have a policy, designate people and have clear
procedures) in place to manage health and safety (and, if you employ more than five
people, set this out in a written health and safety policy statement). You need to be able
to show how you plan, organise, control, monitor and review preventative measures.
And you need to appoint a competent
person(s) to help you comply with your
You have to identify your main hazards
(things that could cause harm).
You have to assess your risks (the
probability that significant harm will
occur) and again, if you employ more than
Risk assessment is the key to working out what needs to be done - but don’t make it
over-complicated. Remember, although you have to do it by law, it is really only any use
if it can be used as a working tool - to help you prove to yourself and your employees
Chapter 15 : Health & Safety Advice at Work 6
that you have identified the main things in your business which could cause harm and
that you are doing everything you should to prevent that harm from happening.
Risk Control Measures
You have to make sure that your risk control measures are adequate and that they
are used and maintained and that they continue to work. (You also have to put in place
any back up measures that may be needed like health surveillance or emergency
For the most part the law sets out certain health and safety goals to be achieved and
indicates appropriate ‘benchmarks’ to help you work out whether your controls are up
to ‘reasonably practicable’ standards. There is an underlying requirement to reduce or
eliminate hazards at source, or isolate people from them (for example, by guarding
machinery) before using other forms of control. Relying on the use of personal
protective equipment - like respirators or protective footwear - is a last resort and is
only acceptable when all
other options have failed.
Risk Control Measures
For the most part the
law sets out certain health and
safety goals to be achieved
‘benchmarks’ to help you
work out whether your controls are up to ‘reasonably practicable’ standards. There is an
underlying requirement to reduce or eliminate hazards at source, or isolate people from
them (for example, by guarding machinery) before using other forms of control. Relying on
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the use of personal protective equipment - like respirators or protective footwear - is a last
resort and is only acceptable when all other options have failed.
‘Where Are You Now?’
Armed with the knowledge you have gained, try to answer the following questions:
"When it comes to health and safety, where are we now as a company?" and "Where do we
want to be this time next year?"
Start by looking at your firm’s health and safety policy statement. It should be the basis
of your firm’s health and safety action plan.
Ask yourself whether you have an effective health and safety management system in
place - in other words, a planned way of tackling problems.
Have you got clear policies and objectives for health and safety?
Have you organised key people to achieve them?
What training do they need?
Have you appointed a competent person to help you comply with your duties?
Have you identified your main hazards and assessed the risks involved?
Have you selected the right control measures to tackle these main risks
Are they adequate or do you need to do more?
Are they actually being applied in practice?
Are you monitoring progress - for example, by inspecting the workplace regularly or
investigating accidents and ‘near misses’ - to learn from your mistakes?
Have you set a date to review your health and safety performance against your plans?
Chapter 15 : Health & Safety Advice at Work 8
Although if you are the person in overall
control of your business, ‘the buck stops with you’,
you cannot achieve a safe and healthy working
environment on your own. It has to be a team effort
and you need to consult your employees and, where
appointed, their safety representatives. You need to
get proper health and safety co-ordination going
with other businesses with which you come into
contact such as clients, customers, suppliers or contractors. You need to build ownership
and commitment to safety throughout your workforce.
Don’t Delay - Get Started Today!
Above all, you need to remember that besides protecting people and the
environment, action on health and safety can also make a major contribution to business
success. Not only will it help stop accidents and work related ill health among your staff, but
it will reduce your accident losses, improve your profit and loss statement and help you
become more efficient. Don’t think accidents and occupational ill health can’t happen in
your company. Above all don’t wait for things to go wrong and then go for the ‘quick fix’.
Build health and safety in from the start. Don’t delay - make time and space to get started
Nestlé has designs on health and safety
NESTLE Confectionery’s York factory has won a national health and safety award for
reducing the frequency of accidents involving its workers by over a third.
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Nestle’s safety, health and environment department picked up the award for its design
stage risk assessments scheme, a system which tackles the risk of injury and ill health caused
by equipment and processes in the food industry, at the Institution of Occupational Safety
and Health event in Harrogate.
By spotting hazards before machinery and processes are
designed, engineered, and installed in the factory, the
company has made its workplace safer from the start.
Nicola Callaghan, safety, health and environment
manager at Nestlé’s York factory, said: “The project has
had a huge impact on reducing the frequency of
accidents to our workers. From 2009 until September
just gone, we saw our rate drop by 38 per cent – down
from 81.5 accidents per one million hours worked, to
50.8 – a really big achievement for us. And we believe
we can still do better.”
Nestlé York, one of the world’s largest confectionery factories and home of Kit Kat, has also
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seen a 75 per cent drop in its recordable accident frequency rate – from 6.5 to 1.6 – which
includes occupational illnesses and accidents that require treatment beyond first aid.
As part of the design stage risk assessment process, a team of managers, craftsmen and
workers carry out detailed checks on any design proposals at the Nestlé factory.
They have a checklist to assess whether equipment or process have the potential to cause
accidents or ill-health.
She said: “It’s been great to get input from our workers – they operate the systems and
have the knowledge, experience and ideas. In turn, that’s helped to improve their morale.
“The cost of putting the scheme in place has been minimal and we’re seeing savings as
efficiency is up, but injury and ill-health-related lost-time is down. But the best thing is
knowing the workforce is safer.”
2. Making an impact on SME compliance behaviour: An evaluation of the effect of
interventions upon compliance with health and safety legislation in SMEs, Prepared by
Health and Safety Executive 2005 http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr366.pdf