Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics for 2008/2009 showed that 180 people were killed and 131,895 people were injured at work.
Organisations now face an enormous amount of regulation and legislation to wade through to ensure that they remain within the law. They also want to reduce their chances of hurting someone to as low as is reasonably practicable.
The Corporate Manslaughter Act introduced in April 2008, makes it easier to prosecute a corporate body. If “the way in which its activities are managed or organised, causes a person’s death and amounts to a gross breach of a relevant duty of care owed by the organisation to the deceased” then they can be prosecuted.
The HSE brought over 900 prosecutions under all health and safety legislation in 2008/2009 and secured a conviction in 83% of cases.
There are guidance notes and many sources of help for businesses. Stakeholders want to know if the organisation is minimising its risks and taking its social responsibilities seriously.
BS OHSAS 18001 is the internationally recognised standard enabling businesses to measure and demonstrate their commitment to occupational safety and health. This is a good way forward. It has positive benefits as well as reassurance including:
- Confidence that you proactively manage Health and Safety
- Confidence that you exercise due diligence
- You have a system that ensures you plan, implement, assess and review your H&S systems regularly and maintain continuous improvement
- You have systems and procedures that identify, reduce , mitigate and control health and safety concerns within the business
- Systems can be integrated with compliance to other standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.
- People within your company have clear communication about the part they play in the development of their company safety.
- Insurers may lower premiums.