CEO/Director? Health & Safety???

If you are a CEO and/or director of a construction company you have a big responsibility. Health & Safety. Those who do not take this responsibility seriously, well, take a look at recent news to see how far the authorities will go, if the most unfortunate happens on your site. Trying to grapple with the vast reams of H&S information kept me awake at night. The H&S audits. The directors duties. Just thinking ‘have we done enough’ to keep the staff and subbies safe? Construction sites are dangerous places. It’s a constant battle by project managers to keep everyone in check. And basically it’s never ending, question – was I doing enough?

Well the reality is you can probably never do enough. And the minimum that we had previously settled on, was simply not good enough. So I decided that as a construction company we would look to continuously improve H&S by having one clear vision. Every step we took would be to improve ourselves until we achieved the international standard ISO45001 status for Occupational Health & Safety. Our H&S improvement plan was literally the Table of Contents for ISO45001, and we worked on filling in the blanks. Over time each blank filled in represented an improvement.

Alongside this, was taking a practical risk adjusted approach to H&S.

Every site was a full PPE site, so no one had to make a decision whether they should wear a hi-vis vest, a hardhat or steel cap shoes. If the property was under construction, even if it looked finished and the scaffold down, didn’t matter. No PPE, no access. I got extremely ‘annoyed’ if anyone flouted this rule. I definitely named and shamed.

We celebrated success onsite, for those subbies who made a difference – you may have seen some photo’s in posts.

I forced the senior management team on site, to not just observe, but to directly interact identifying the risks. We kept a schedule, showing how many times a year they visited…important for the office bound staff to get out.

Anyway, something is brewing on this front, to help those of you without the resources I had, to better manage your H&S obligations – so stay tuned.

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