Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Communication – A Common Health And Safety Failing
Posted by David Cant on April 29, 2013
1 Comment

communication - Health and SafetyDuring the past few days we have read news reports relating to two men falling from a cherry picker in Leicestershire, sustaining injuries likely to result in time off work, and a harbour crane in Guernsey which snapped, potentially causing significant damage and injury. Fortunately in this second incident no one was hurt, but this is certainly down to luck, not good practice.

Both of these incidents highlight a common failing with respect to health and safety – communication.

The Three Sides To Health And Safety Communication

Using the services of a health and safety specialist company such as Veritas Consulting is vital to ensure that all potential risks are properly identified and appropriate measures put into place to either eliminate or minimise those risks. We communicate those measures to those responsible for implementing safety procedures on site.

But communication needs to go further, and here is where it sometimes breaks down. It is essential that workers involved in the day to day work on site communicate concerns or observations in the right way to the right people.

A faulty machine, a damaged safety barrier, a missing notice or other potential problem must be reported promptly, and then acted upon.

We have often seen examples where this communication is sometimes not considered important, workers are hazy as to who to go to and how to report such concerns, and examples where concerns were raised but not acted upon promptly because they weren’t reported to the right person or in the right way.

At Veritas Consulting we see this element of health and safety communication as being essential, and will work with clients to ensure that appropriate measures and policies are put into place which will provide workers with a clearly defined channel for reporting concerns or observations.

The Legal Obligation Of Employers

But there’s another side to this communication, and that is the information passed from the managers, directors and health and safety executives to the workers and contractors undertaking the day to day work.

Health and safety law makes it very clear that employers must clearly communicate all information to workers about the potential risks involved. Specifically, the law requires an employer to inform employees, contractors and representatives the following:

  • the risks and dangers involved in the work they will be doing
  • the risks and potential dangers possible if there are changes to their work
  • what is being done to remove or minimise those risks
  • what employees or contractors need to do if they notice a potential risk or danger
  • who the officially designated competent person on site is

The communication of this information needs to take into account the languages spoken by all contractors and employees.

Making sure that all employees and contractors are fully briefed and competent before work begins is vital, and at Veritas Consulting we can help to implement effective communication strategies which ensure complete compliance with UK law. Call us today on 0800 1488 677 for advice on how we can help your business communicate safety more effectively.

About 

David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

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