Managing for health and safety
New HSE guidance for larger organisations and businesses replaces HSG65
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently announced the completion of online guidance that they believe will make it easier for larger organisations and business leaders to understand the actions they need to take to comply with health and safety regulations.
Managing for health and safety (MFHS) is a new microsite that replaces ‘Successful health and safety management’ (generally known as HSG65).
A wide number of stakeholders have influenced the development of this important guidance. This has led to significant changes to well recognised features. In particular, the change from the POPIMAR (policy, organisation, planning, implementation monitoring and review) approach to health and safety arrangements to the ‘plan, do, check, act’ (PDCA) model. This PDCA model reflects the structure of the BS OHSAS 18001 standard and management systems associated with it, which some organisations may find useful.
The guidance has been revised to simplify key concepts and to provide a stronger focus on issues such as senior management leadership, workforce involvement and occupational health. The new web-based guidance provides primarily information on managing for health and safety and is accompanied by web links to existing and more extensive guidance on specific features of health and safety management, such as risk assessment and leadership. A ‘hard-copy’ version of the guidance is expected sometime later this year.
The MFHS web guidance contains four distinct elements:
- Core elements of managing safety
- Are you doing what you need to?
- Delivering effective arrangements
- Resources, including a number of useful external links
In addition, features on “worker consultation and involvement” and “leading and managing” are provided.
The HSE say that while the first two parts are targeted at business leaders, owners, trustees and line-managers, the third part will be particularly useful to those such as professional health and safety advisers who need to put in place or oversee their organisation’s arrangements for health and safety. They also hope the material will be of value to workers and their representatives.
The element ‘Delivering effective arrangements’ (section 3) is arguably the newest and most significant change, introducing and detailing the ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’ (PDCA) framework. It identifies the key actions needed in each part of the PDCA cycle and relates them back, where appropriate, to leadership, management, worker involvement and competence. The HSE believes the revised guidance will achieve a better balance between the ‘systems’ and ‘behavioural’ aspects of management.