Michael Ellerby / Feature Articles

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Health and Safety – Competence

It is important to understand that within health and safety legislation, organisations of all sizes are required to nominate at least one competent person to help them meet their duty to control the risks posed by their work activities.

Larger organisations often appoint one or more members of the workforce to do this, while with smaller organisation (SMEs) the responsibility commonly rests with the owner/manager. Some organisations bring in specialist external consultants to help, and in other instances a professional body may be called upon to provide advice.

Legislative compliance should be regarded as the minimum acceptable standard. Truly effective health and safety management requires competency across every facet of an organisation and through each level of the workforce. The need is for health and safety training to place greater emphasis on coaching so that directors, line managers and workers alike are able to determine what is sensible and reasonable.  Competence is based on more than just “training”.

The essence of competence is relevance to the workplace. What matters is that there is a proper focus on both the risks that occur most often and those with serious consequences. Competence is the ability for every director, manager and worker to recognise the risks in operational activities and then apply the right measures to control and manage those risks.

Need to understand more? Call 01509 550023 and ask to talk to Mike Ellerby

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