I have to state here clearly that the responsibility for safety and health management ultimately rests with the employer. This responsibilities will then be delegated to top management staffs like – The executive directors, senior managers, line managers, supervisors and employees.
For these responsibilities to be implemented, the employer should ensure that each person’s authority and duties is clearly defined, documented and communicated to them; they also need to accept the responsibilities. The organisational and reporting structure for implementing these duties should be illustrated in an in-house organisational chart.
All top management staffs must provide safety and health commitment and leadership by:
- Ensuring that each members’ actions and decisions at board level always reinforce the message in the organisation’s Safety Statement
- Preventing a mismatch between individual board members attitudes, behaviour or decisions and the organisation’s Safety Statement so as not to undermine workers belief in maintaining good safety and health standards.
Senior executive directors or other senior management controlling body members and executive senior managers are primarily responsible for safety and health management in the organisation. These people need to ensure that all their decisions reflect their safety and health intentions, as articulated in the Safety Statement, which should cover:
- The appointment of someone at senior management level with executive responsibility, accountability and authority for the development, implementation, periodic review and evaluation of their safety and health management system
- The safety and health ramifications of investment in new plant, premises, processes or products. For example such changes could introduce:
- New materials – are they toxic or flammable, do they pose new risks to employees, neighbours or the public and how will any new risks be controlled?
- New work practices – what are the new risks and are managers and supervisors competent to induct workers in the new practices?
- New people – do they need safety and health training and are they sufficiently competent to do the job safely?
- Only engaging contractors to do new or ongoing projects that reinforce rather than damage the organisation’s safety and health policies
- Recognising their continuing responsibility for safety and health even when work is contracted out
- Providing their customers with the necessary safety and health precautions when supplying them with articles, substances or services
- Being aware that although safety and health responsibilities can and should be delegated, legal responsibility for safety and health still rests with the employer.
Senior managers responsibilities to Health and Safety
- Preparing safety and health policies and consulting employees, including the safety committee where it exists, and the safety representative, as appropriate
- Devising safety and health strategies for key high risks
- Setting safety and health objectives and targets for employees
- Devising plans to implement the safety and health policy
- Ensuring that appropriate organisational structures are in place
- Identifying and allocating resources for safety and health
- Ensuring that the safety and health policy is effectively implemented and checking whether objectives and targets have been met
- Reviewing the effectiveness of the safety and health management system
- Implementing any necessary improvements derived from carrying out Risk Assessments
- Giving all personnel the authority necessary to carry out individual safety and health responsibilities
- Devising appropriate arrangements whereby employees are held accountable for discharging their responsibilities
- Establishing clear and unambiguous reporting relationships
- Devising job descriptions that include safety and health responsibilities
- Incorporating safety and health performance in the appraisal system where personal appraisal systems exist
- Developing safety and health cultures in project teams and team working situations.
Read Also: 4 Workers safety responsibilities
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