Close collaboration between managers and workers key to reducing workplace accidents
21st October 2013
Today (Monday 21st October) marks the start of European Week for Safety and Health at Work. This year’s campaign theme is “working together for risk prevention” which urges managers and employees to work in close cooperation with a view to making workplaces as safe and healthy as possible.
Speaking at the beginning of this year’s campaign, Martin O’Halloran, Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority said, “It’s common sense that any initiatives to improve workplace safety and health standards will be more effective when managers and employees work closely together. It’s in the interest of all business owners and directors to involve workers; they’re the ones who are likely to have practical ideas on how to reduce the likelihood of a workplace accident. If a ‘safety first’ culture is to be engrained in any organisation then real and genuine cooperation should be the goal.”
According to research recently commissioned by the HSA, the most important source of information about workplace safety and health for an employee is his/her boss followed by the Health and Safety Authority itself.
“Workers depend heavily on senior managers to be aware of workplace safety and health issues and to effectively fulfil their duties. Senior managers have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure workers are not exposed to any unnecessary risk and, by involving workers in a meaningful way and working together with a common goal, the benefits of lower accident rates are huge. Apart from the reduction in human cost, lower insurance premiums, improved productivity and reduced absenteeism rates are just some of the tangible benefits to the bottom line”, said Mr. O’Halloran.
Prevention is the cornerstone of Ireland’s and Europe’s approach to managing workplace risk. During this year’s European Safety Week, the Health and Safety Authority will be highlighting the importance of close employer/employee interaction. Authority inspectors will be focusing on the issue during workplace inspections and will be looking for evidence that there is an appropriate level of collaboration between management and workers. Information seminars in association with SIPTU and the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work are also being held in Dublin on Monday 21st and Galway on Wednesday 23rd October. Full details can be found on www.hsa.ie.