It’s the butt of stand-up comedians and broadcasters everywhere. The phrase is usually accompanied by a theatrical roll of the eyes, with maybe a bad Cockney accent thrown in for good measure. We blame it for nonsensical decisions, extra work and red tape – anything that spoils a bit of fun. ‘Elf an’ safety. Typical. The world’s gone mad’. You get the picture. It’s an ‘us and them’ phrase – a phrase that divides and disgruntles.
But what’s interesting is we don’t think like this at home. We wouldn’t leave maternity hospital without a car seat for a newborn, leave a pile of cables lying on our stairs, or keep medicines at toddler height. When it comes to our home life, we don’t view safety precautions as a hassle, or work, or someone else’s responsibility; they’re just life. Measures that have become embedded into our very existence, over generations.
Health and Safety at work can be just the same. It isn’t a silo discipline. It’s not the preserve of that harried-looking bloke in the back office – it’s everyone’s concern. Nor need it be any extra work either – it can become an unconscious part of the way we behave, just like at home.
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 is the UK’s core health and safety legislation. It places a duty on all employers “to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work” of all their employees. And it’s fully explained in the Health and Safety Executive’s ‘Health and safety made simple’. Briefly, every business should do the following 10 things:
It’s not rocket science, but may need some initial commitment to get things rolling – thereafter Health and Safety can become a cultural feature of your business environment very quickly, just as it is at home.
But there’s an even simpler way to embed Health and Safety into your business’s ‘Modus Operandi’. By using isCompliant to manage your business more effectively, you’ll find that its modular design will manage and drive your risk assessing, emergency planning, environmental controls and COSHH, and help keep you up to date with legislation too. By using isCompliant, you will progress through all the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act, as part of how you run your business. But crucially, all these actions and information will be held in the cloud, and will communicate with all other areas of your business, creating positive impacts on everything from your company objectives to your employees, and your path to compliance – if that’s your aim.
Suddenly Health and Safety becomes an integral part of excellent business management, not an annoying post-it note that keeps falling off your monitor.
It’s no different from keeping your family safe at home. Maybe we all need to start taking a little bit of home to work with us.Tags: compliance, health, health and safety, legislation, risk assess, safety