Many health and safety professionals privately agree that one of the biggest stumbling blocks to changing a safety culture for the better lies at the middle management and supervisor level.
And with the cost of claims running so high, their directors are beginning to agree with them.
We find that when the squeeze is on, middle managers and supervisors turn a blind eye to safety in order to get a job through quickly. And the more “pressured” the nature of the business, the more likely this is to happen.
This has never been such a public topic until recently – because of the spiralling cost of claims.
The statistics on this are horrendous.
> Every year every 50th employee is making a claim, with an average payout of around £6,000.
Do the math. It’s become too expensive to turn a blind eye to safety shortcuts any more.
It’s cheaper to work more slowly and more safely when under pressure, than it is to get the job out fast.
The new thinking is to indirectly target the middle manager and supervisor, putting them in a position where they have to comply 100% of the time with the safe system of work.
This done by publicising the safety responsibilities of the manager to the workforce, making them more transparently accountable to their operatives.
One effective way to do this is to produce a safety training video, be it for handling training or slips and trips avoidance, or whatever hazard is costing your company in court awards.
Examples of safety videos HealthAndSafetyVideoProduction.htm
In the video, you have the opportunity to highlight the role of the middle manager and supervisor. You can make it clear how they have a duty to ensue that safety compliance is the norm in all situations, and not just when it’s convenient to be safe.
This ensures that management’s duty is highly visible to all.
In turn this raises the expectation from operatives that their managers and supervisors will put safety first always.
Video is unique in the convincing and socially acceptable way it does this.
For example a video can include discussion interviews with operatives, supervisors and managers, with each highlighting the issues, and explaining the difficulties, but staying with the necessity for 100% safety compliance.
This is open discussion on causes and remedies, not a blame exercise. The video editor will ensure that a balanced influential view is projected.
When this discussion is supported with injury avoidance training, a genuine step towards culture change can take place.
And with it, claims have the chance to reduce, as less employees will be taking less risks when under pressure from mamangers.