Safety: A response to One-person responsibility for whole building compliance ‘could avoid future tragedies like Grenfell’
By Karl Spencer
Link to the original article based on the lords safety debate :
Health and safety culture is like an ‘albatross around the neck of business’.
An old but poignant statement by David Cameron.
Why do we continue to place the blame on health and safety and not on the failure of businesses or their management?
The only people who would possibly agree with David Cameron’s statement are the ones who know they do not follow regulations or are not even aware of their existence. They do not understand why H&S is of paramount importance and they put profit before human life.
Financial growth comes from success. You can still be successful if you help and protect your employees and workers, and protect your own business as well.
Health and Safety is not a burden. Only people’s perception of what H&S is, is a burden.
We know that telling people what to do has limited results. However, preventing employees and workers from doing something if something is amiss or incorrect, supported with culpability, is a powerful way of creating a better health and safety culture.
If it’s not safe, we CAN’T do it. In this case, proof of what was said and done is required. The leaders of such a revolution in health and safety will be the ones who are today operating outside of the legislative parameters: the business owners and managers who are implementing a holistic health and safety culture that goes beyond compliance with current regulations. These people should be helped and supported, not opposed.
Lord Prior of Brampton said: “There are times that regulations have ticked the box but entirely missed the point.”
I would like to point out that, in June 2017 alone, fines for lack of compliance with H&S regulations totalled £11.7 million and 4 cases of deaths caused by workplace accidents were tried in the UK. In May 2017, there were 12 deaths and £5.6 million in fines!!!
So, saying that “there are times” is a massive underestimate.
Why does the government not make it a legal requirement for businesses to operate a holistic H&S system that will stop workers if something is not correct?
My opinion is that the government does not fully understand how to implement such a system and it is also used to not being clear and concise about requirements..
If a person is driving along in their car and a text message pings up on their phone, we shouldn’t be thinking, ”Will they or won’t they reply?” Instead, we should ask, “How can we stop the phone from working when the car is under control and in motion?”
This is literally the only way we can stop 100% of phone-related road accidents. This is exactly the same for H&S in the workplace.
Remove the potential for continuing if documents, control measures, awareness and certifications are not in place. This is the only solution that the government needs to implement.
Karl Spencer is the founder and managing director of Safety PAL, a software app that prevents workplace accidents, reduces costs, and protects directors and companies from crippling fines and personal legal action.
Karl encourages businesses to adopt a holistic approach to health and safety, involving everyone from directors to workers. He also understands that businesses need to reduce costs and increase productivity. Safety PAL gives businesses the tools to achieve all this.