Health and Safety Management: How robust is your Health and Safety management model?

A challenge for any dynamic organisation is to ensure that it's Health and Safety Management is robust enough to support the growing and changing needs of the organisation.

How Robust is your Health and Safety Management Model?

Here at EDP, we’ve developed an evaluation framework which considers organisational strengths and weaknesses in three key inter-related aspects of Health and Safety Management; Governance, Infrastructure and Practice.

Governance Infrastructure and Practice

As we apply this evaluation framework across a diverse client base made up of different types of organisations, of varying sizes and across a range of sectors, we see a number of consistent gaps in Health and Safety Management models emerge.

The Governance Gap – The Governance gap is observed when an organisation’s Health and Safety strategy, operating model and corporate governance do not fully align with or encompass the breadth of operational activities across the business. Typically the Governance gap is observed when organisational governance models evolve, strategies change and/or organisations scale or diversify activities without reference to the implications for health and safety management. The Governance gap is also particularly evidenced where lack of clarity exists relating to overall roles and responsibilities for health and safety management and where health and safety does not have a clear line of responsibility within corporate governance structures.

The Infrastructure Gap – The Infrastructure gap is usually evidenced by shortcomings in Health and Safety documentation, management systems, day to day management responsibilities and processes and the extent to which they cover an organisation’s scope of operations.

The Practice Gap – The Practice gap is evidenced by deficiencies in attitudes and behaviours as employees carry out their work, lead their people and manage projects in line with agreed policies, working arrangements and processes.
The dynamic nature of organisations means that at any point in time, all three gaps can usually be observed to some extent. Provided they are being identified and programmes of work are in place to address them, the gaps themselves do not necessarily present evidence of legal non-compliance; however, not addressing gaps leaves organisations exposed legally, at risk of high claims costs resulting from incidents and accidents and at risk of significant damage to brand and reputation.

Organisational weaknesses in health and safety management can typically be identified as having their source in one or more of three common Health and Safety management gaps.

In understanding and framing these weaknesses, organisations are able to evaluate and address them. As we work with client, EDP’s methodology ensures that not only are these gaps identified but that they are addressed through the development of a target Health and Safety Management model aligned to the needs of the organisation; where improvement activities can be prioritised and targeted to most effectively leverage strengths in the management model and most quickly and efficiently address weaknesses and close gaps in health and safety management.

EDP is currently working with a number of organisations conducting strategic reviews of their management systems. If you would like to receive more information about this, please contact Joel Cook: joel.cook@edp-uk.com or contact our office on 08456 44 53 54.