Many employers believe that once they have given their employees training in First Aid, Manual Handling, Chemical Awareness and perhaps Fire Fighting that their job is done. This is simply not true.

What about providing health and safety training for your Board, your Senior Management Team and your Team Leaders/Line Managers? Sadly, this is rarely considered at all. It is assumed that they know what to do and how to do it. Without the right training they simply do not.

Health and safety can be managed just like production, finance, HR and IT but sadly this belief is not commonly held. I have heard Senior Managers say, “ we will always have accidents here, it’s just the nature of the business, sure what can we do?” You can do a great deal if you know how and that is where training and development comes in.

Safety leadership has to come from the top, so the Board and the Senior Management team and others need to understand what our health and safety laws and regulations require, what duties they have, what risks exist in their business and most importantly how to minimise and control them to ensure a safe place of work for all.

In terms of training – the Board will need a briefing, so they understand that the decisions they make (and those that they fail to make) on health and safety issues will impact on the health and safety of employees in the organisation. If those decisions turn out to be misguided, ineffective or plain wrong they can be held to account for that. If there is no health and safety expertise within the Board then they have an obligation to go and get it from a competent person internally or externally.

The Senior Management Team will need a well-designed safety leadership programme so they can lead the organisation towards zero accidents and injuries. They need to ensure that health and safety is mainstreamed into every management decision. If they do not know how to do that or even where to start then training is needed.

The Team Leaders/Line Managers need to get down with their people and understand the process, the machines, the equipment, the chemicals in use, the movement of materials and time pressures etc. so they can implement practical health and safety programmes that will protect everyone, every day. Again, if they do not have the know how they can be upskilled to do this.

So, if you need a Board Briefing, a Safety Leadership programme for your Senior Team, a practical Safety Management programme for your Team Leaders or you need Safety Awareness training for your employees then I can help you. I have over 28 years’ experience in health and safety in manufacturing, hospitality, retail, not for profit and more. Please go to www.darlington.ie or call me, Mary Darlington on 086 2437677.