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NEBOSH

International Diploma in
Occupational Health & Safety
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Version 1.3a (05/08/2014)

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Element IA6 Organisational Factors.


Learning outcomes.
On completion of this element, candidates should be able to:
1. Explain the internal and external influences on health and safety in an organisation.
2. Outline the different types of organisation, their structure, function and the concept of the
organisation as a system.
3. Identify the various categories of third parties in a workplace, the relevant duties, responsibilities
and controls.
4. Explain the role, influences on and procedures, for formal and informal consultation with workers in
the workplace.
5. Outline the development of a health and safety management information system, the relevant duties
and the data it should contain.
6. Explain health and safety culture and climate.
7. Outline the factors which can both positively and negatively affect health and safety culture and
climate.
Relevant Standards

International Labour Standards, Occupational Safety and Health Convention, C155, International
Labour Organisation, Geneva, 1981
International Labour Standards, Occupational Safety and Health Recommendation R164,
International Labour Organisation, Geneva, 1981

Minimum hours of tuition: 12 hours.


1.0 Organisational Influences - Internal and External.
We shall begin this element with the examination of both the external and internal influences on a
company.
External Influences on a Company.
The External Environment.

Legislation.
Of all the influences on a company, probably the most important is that of legislation. The laws passed by
governments will have a direct effect on any company and may require records to be kept (e.g. COSHH) or,
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1.0 Organisational Influences - Internal and External.


alternatively, a change in company procedures to accommodate legislative changes.
Any company or officers of a company ignore legislation at their peril. Changes in legislation are well
publicised in relevant journals, and any safety adviser should ensure that he/she is aware of any pending
changes and their effect on the company.
In 2006 new regulations were introduced - The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This
legislation abolished the need for fire certificates and pronounced the requirement for the responsible
person to ensure a fire risk assessment has been completed. Anyone acting as a safety adviser should
ensure that he/she is kept up to date with potential changes in legislation.
Enforcement Agencies.
The enforcement agencies can affect the health and safety attitudes within companies by means of
Prohibition Notices and Improvement Notices.
The HSE can cause change by publishing Approved Codes of Practice which recommend good practice.
Whilst these do not have the force of law, companies must show that they have adopted a standard at least
equal to that published in the Code.
Enforcement agencies may also be affected in their action by public attitudes as shown by the following
report extracted from the September 1997 "Safety and Health Practitioner":
"A decision not to prosecute Neath Port Talbot Borough Council over the deaths of two men in South Wales
was overturned following the presentation of a petition containing 20,000 names to Attorney General John
Morris.
Ryan Preece and Robert Simpson were overcome by toxic fumes inside the Crymlyn Burrows Sewage
Pumping Station last October during maintenance work.
When Preece lost consciousness, his workmate Simpson went in to help him. He too was overcome by the
fumes and two more colleagues, unable to reach the pair, called the emergency services. By the time they
arrived, the men were already dead.
The Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute, and the friends and family of the two dead men
organised a petition generating a huge response. Following the presentation of the petition and a joint
investigation by the HSE, Police and Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water, Neath Port Talbot Borough Council is to be
prosecuted under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, with failing to ensure the safety
of the two men."
Tribunals.
Tribunals may have a direct effect through their decisions affecting any particular company and whether the
action was deemed to be fair or not; however, although tribunal decisions are not precedent but merely
persuasive, they can influence how companies behave.
Contracts/Contractors.
The nature and relationship between contracts and contractors may have profound effects on the health
and safety of a particular contract. In those circumstances, where a contractor feels that he is making a loss
on a particular job, there is a strong temptation to cut corners and perhaps compromise health and safety.
Similarly, where a client takes a direct interest in the progress of a contract and in achieving good
standards of health and safety, the standards on site are positively improved. There is a need for effective
vetting of contractors' own company health and safety competence before engaging their services.
This area, though, has been considerably improved by the introduction of the Construction (Design and
Management) Regulations 2007 and we shall discuss it further in a later study unit.
Trade Unions.
Trade unions have been active nationally in promoting standards of health and safety in a variety of ways.

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1.0 Organisational Influences - Internal and External.


These include:

Supporting their members' legal actions and setting precedents and standards.
Lobbying and use of pressure groups, thus affecting legislation.
Carrying out and sponsoring research.
Publicising health and safety matters and court decisions.
Providing seminars on health and safety subjects.

Insurance Companies.
Insurance companies directly influence other companies via the requirement for employers' liability
insurance. Should a company suffer an unusually high accident rate, then the insurance company can
either increase their insurance premiums or insist that the company adopt risk reduction measures. It is
now more common for insurance companies to carry out their own inspections of workplace risks and thus
set certain minimum standards.
Insurance companies may also affect companies by means of their policy towards claims, i.e. because of
the high cost of litigation, cases tend to be settled out of court, rather than pursued to the bitter end in court.
Public Opinion.
Ultimately public opinion can have a powerful effect on legislators, which may result in legislation being
passed or, as demonstrated above, prosecution taking place. Other actions may involve a particular
company's products being deliberately boycotted by consumers because of the company's behaviour, or by
other more direct forms of action by protesting consumer groups.
1.1 Organisational Influences - Internal and External (cont'd).
Internal Influences on the Company.
Organisations are not merely subjected to external pressures and influences. We said earlier in comparing
the organisation to an "open system" that the central characteristic of the system was the conversion of
inputs from the external environment. These were "organised and activated so as to convert human skills
and raw materials into products".

The internal organisation consists therefore of the four Ps - People; Procedures; Premises; and Plant and
substances.
1.2 Organisational Influences - External and Internal (cont'd).
If the organisation has eliminated or minimised risk in relation to premises, plant and procedures, it can
concentrate its energies on the fourth element - people. They in turn are influenced by a number of internal
pressures - finance, production targets, and trade unions.
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1.2 Organisational Influences - External and Internal (cont'd).


Finance.
Setting up and running a company requires considerable financial investment. Once established, the
company needs to generate more income than it expends on running costs, i.e. cost of premises, plant,
wages, insurance, etc. To do this, the company will set annual budgets specifying the amount of money
available to each department to support its running costs, and setting production targets to be attained.
When budgets are being pared down to make economies, very often some health and safety requirements
will be "short circuited".
It is essential that the person responsible for health and safety is prepared to fight his corner when budgets
are under discussion, to ensure that there are sufficient funds available to support health and safety
requirements. Lack of sufficient funding will inevitably lead to a lessening of the resources required to
administer health and safety effectively. To the uninitiated, health and safety costs might appear minimal
and could be easily absorbed in departmental administration costs. To operate on this basis would be a
recipe for financial disaster and could lead to costly prosecutions for non-compliance. The following
headings give some idea of the possible range of expenditure.
Item

Cost

Health and Safety Manager Full-time appointment.

Health and Safety Consultant Contract/Part-time.

H & S Assessments.

MHSW Regulations.

DSE Regulations.

MHOR Regulations.

PPE Regulations.

Noise.

Abestos.

Lead.

Health & Safety Training.

Employees - Induction/On-going.

Competent Persons.

First Aid.

Fire Marshall.

Health & Safety Equipment PPE.

Monitoring - air.

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1.2 Organisational Influences - External and Internal (cont'd).


Lightning.

Temperature/Humidity.

First Aid Boxes.

Evacuation Chair/s.

First Aid/Fire Notices.

Library.

Subscribtions to H&S Journals.

Purchase of H & S Publications.

Purchase of H & S Videos.

Posters.

Administration.

Membership of H & S Associations.

Safety Committee Meetings.

Health Surveillance.

Printing - Policy.

H & S Manuals.

Accident Costs.

Prevention.

Investigation.

Administration.

It is worth examining accident costs as an example of how spiralling costs can result from a seemingly
comparatively minor incident.
1.3 Organisational Influences - Internal and External (cont'd).
Costs of Accidents.
Most accidents are minor in nature but may stop production for some time and lead to the injured employee
being away from work for a few days. This involves the cost of lost production, and sick pay, etc. A major
accident, on the other hand, can lead to a prolonged absence from work for the employee involved, and the
costs of an investigation during which equipment and machinery may be at a standstill.
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1.3 Organisational Influences - Internal and External (cont'd).


Classifying Accidents.
An accident is an unplanned event - it may involve personal injury, damage to property, both or neither.
Accidents can be classified into four groups for cost purposes:

Class A: Those causing no injury.


Class B: Those causing no injury but damaging property.
Class C: Those causing injury but no property damage.
Class D: Those causing injury and property damage.

Examples:
NO PROPERTY DAMAGE/PROPERTY DAMAGE.
No injury.

a) Steps on banana skin - does not slip.


b) Steps on banana skin - slips - drops cup which breaks.

Injury.

No
Injury

Injury

c) Steps on banana skin - slips - sprains ankle.


d) Steps on banana skin - slips - sprains ankle - drops cup which breaks.
No Property Damage

Property Damage

Steps on banana skin - does not Steps on banana skin - slips - drops cup which
slip
breaks
C

Steps on banana skin - slips sprains ankle

Steps on banana skin - slips sprains ankle drops cup which breaks

1.4 Organisational Influences - Internal and External (cont'd).


Direct and Indirect Costs.
Costs of accidents may be split into two types:
1. Those relating directly to the incident.
2. Those relating indirectly to the incident.
Some examples are given below:
Class A Accident.
Direct Costs - None
Indirect Costs - Negligible. Possibly the cost of lost production during investigation of the "near-miss".
Class B Accident.
Direct Costs: Cost of damaged property, cost of replacement property, cost of repair to property.
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1.4 Organisational Influences - Internal and External (cont'd).


Indirect Costs: Waste of material and time spent on job to date, downtime awaiting repair & downtime
awaiting replacement.
Class C Accidents.
Direct Costs: Costs of medical treatment - first aid, ambulance, etc. Compensation payments & fines for
breach of statutory duty.
Indirect Costs:
Lost time due to: workers stopping to assist, sympathise or discuss the incident, machinery stoppage to
free victim, supervisors assisting victim, persons investigating accident, rearrangement of schedules,
preparation of reports, attendances at courts of law hospital visits, visits to relatives.
Lost profit due to: loss of victim's production, cost of training replacement, reduced productivity, wages and
overtime failure to meet production dates, cancellation of orders, loss of future orders.
Lost overheads due to: higher insurance premiums, plant and staff idle, cost of plant hire.
Incidental costs: difficulty recruiting good staff poor staff causing increase in waste poor workers having
more accidents.
Class D Accidents.
These are likely to include, at least, all the costs involved in Class B and C accidents.
Budgets.
A budget based on company-wide requirements is much easier to administer and control. Training costs
may sometimes be shared with other training budgets.
If health and safety budgets are administered departmentally, there is a huge temptation either to ignore
health and safety requirements or to divert health and safety monies to priorities perceived as being more
urgent.
Production Targets.
The attainment of production goals subjects operatives to intense pressures which can lead to stress and
an increase in incidents and accidents in the workplace. Indeed, it is well-recognised that increased
competition, longer hours, increased workloads, new technology and new work patterns are prominent in
the list of occupational stressors.
It is equally well-known in industrial psychology that in a "conveyor-type" operation, the speed of the belt
should be geared to the capacity of the slowest operator.
The pressures on management to attain production targets can be translated into action on the
shop floor in a number of ways in order to increase production:

Make existing workforce work longer hours.


Increase size of existing workforce.
Pay incentive bonuses to existing workforce to increase daily rate of production.
Reduce quality of actual goods by using inferior materials.
Apart from increasing the size of the workforce, the above measures can induce a "corner-cutting"
mentality in the workforce, e.g. longer hours bring fatigue and a lessening of attention to safety
factors.
Payment of bonuses for increased production can lead to disregard for safe systems of work which
may slow down the speed at which the worker can operate.
Increased production expectations may cause anxiety in the slower worker, especially if part of a
team, and again short cuts are taken in an effort to keep pace with colleagues.
Reducing quality may necessitate the introduction of new systems of work, leading to stress.
All of these can lead to unsafe acts which may have considerable effect on the company's health,
safety and accident record.

Trade Unions.
Earlier, we noted that trade unions exerted an external influence on organisations but they also exert
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1.4 Organisational Influences - Internal and External (cont'd).


considerable internal influences.
Trade union safety representatives are involved as members of safety committees, and as such are
actively involved in improving health and safety in the workplace. They have a dual role in that they can be
involved in the formulation of policy (in the more enlightened companies), but they also have a policing role
in as much as they can monitor management's performance.
They carry out the following functions:

Investigating potential hazards and dangerous occurrences.


Examining the cause of accidents.
Investigating health and safety complaints from employees they represent.
Making representations to the employer on complaints, hazards and accidents.
Carrying out inspections of the workplace.
Consulting with HSE inspectors on behalf of the employees they represent.
Receiving certain information from the HSE inspector.
Employee representation has been widened to include employees who are not members of a trade
union. These employees will be represented by "elected representatives of safety".
Safety representatives are protected by legislation from victimisation by employers. We shall
discuss safety representatives in a later study unit.
2.0 Organisations.

In this study unit we shall analyse the organisation in a general way, considering the organisational
concepts noted above as well as spending some time on the theory of the organisation as a system. We
shall pay particular attention to the importance of the organisation in the implementation and management
of health and safety, at the same time detailing the typical duties of safety practitioners.
We shall complete our studies of organisational theory by looking in some detail at the diverse external and
internal influences which can have a significant impact on the effective functioning of the organisation as a
whole.
TYPES OF ORGANISATION
General Perspective
The study of organisations has produced a huge body of sociological research with a number of conflicting
interpretations. However, there has been a convergence of opinion amongst the more prominent
sociologists about the nature of the organisation.
Here are a few definitions:
"Organisations are social units deliberately constructed and reconstructed to seek specific goals" (Talcott
Parsons).
"Organisations are stable associations of persons engaged in concerted activities directed to the attainment
of specific objectives" (Egon Bittner).
"Organisations are bodies persisting over time which are specially set up to achieve specific aims" (Amitai
Etzioni).
In layman's terms an organisation is a group of persons who interact with each other in an effort to attain
certain predetermined goals or objectives.
Take a look at the particular company for which you work. Does it fit within any of the above definitions?
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2.0 Organisations.
At a very basic level, the shop-floor employee goes to work to earn money, so do his shop steward,
foreman, manager and managing director. The earning of money, then, is a specific goal common to
everyone in that particular enterprise. There will be many other shared goals and objectives. There will also
be many goals which are not shared, which lead to conflict, and which, ultimately, may have a bearing on
the success or failure of the organisation.
A work organisation, then, is an organisation which has been established for a specific purpose, and within
which work is carried out on a regular basis by paid employees. Examples of such are businesses,
hospitals, educational institutions, government departments, etc.
2.1 Formal and Informal Organisation.
All organisations have a formal and informal structure. You, as a student of management (and health and
safety management) need to recognise this and understand how the formal and informal structures interact
with each other.
Within each organisation, there is a formal allocation of work roles and the administrative procedures
necessary to control and integrate work activities. This concept of control within an organisation is
important. It can be exercised differently by different organisations. There is a power structure within which
workers are controlled by the managers.
Etzioni described how power was used according to the type of organisation. He suggested that
management power could be described as "coercive, remunerative, and normative" and that there was a
corresponding reaction by the workers which could be termed "alienative, calculative and moral".
Organisation

Power

Reaction

Result

Prison.

Coercive.

Alienative.

Inefficient prison industries.

Factory.

Remunerative.

Calculative.

Efficient commercial performance.

Religious.

Normative.

Moral.

Larger congregations.

These classifications are not mutually exclusive, however, and can often exist side by side.
We have, so far, been discussing the "classical" theories of organisation and concentrating on the formal
model. Traditionally, formal organisation was typified by the rules and specifications of management, and
you can probably sketch a formal organagram of your own particular company based on the traditional,
conventional management pyramid. Your company probably also has a formal system of written rules and
procedures, contained perhaps in a company handbook, for the smooth and efficient operation and
management of the company.
However, you will also be aware from your own work experience of an informal arrangement or power
structure within your company, which is based on the behaviour of workers - how they behave towards
each other and how they react to management instructions. The foreman or supervisor will have specific
instructions from management aimed at achieving certain goals or production targets. In many cases, he
often "adjusts" those instructions in accordance with his personal relationships with individual, or groups of,
workers.
This takes us some way towards being able to make a distinction between formal and informal
organisations. There is a blurring at the edges between the two - a cross-over point, where the distinction
between the formal and informal at the actual point of action becomes obscured and is the subject of a
great deal of sociological argument and discussion.
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2.1 Formal and Informal Organisation.


For our purposes, it is sufficient to describe or explain them in the following way.
2.2 Formal Organisational Structure.
Most organisations describe their structure in the form of an organagram. This shows the reporting
relationships from the chief executive of the company down to the staff carrying out the most basic tasks.
Figure 1.1 illustrates a typical formal structure for a small company.

Figure 1.1 Formal Structure.


In theory, every person within the structure has a well-defined role with clear lines of reporting and clear
instructions as to standards of performance. These roles will be clearly understood by others in the
organisation so that everyone acts in concert to achieve the organisational objectives.
Informal Organisational Structure.
An organisational chart cannot identify all the interactions which occur between staff.
Invariably, it will be the quality of personal relationships which determines how communications flow within
a company, and "how things get done". Within the prison system, for example, there are strict rules of
behaviour enforced by the prison authorities by means of a rigid authoritarian structure. The prisoners
themselves, however, have their own informal organisation which often dictates "how things get done" in
prison. This refers back to Etzioni's "coercive - alienative" theory.
In the prison workshop, the objective is to produce x number of objects per week. The work is imposed on
the unwilling prisoner (coercion). The prisoner's objective is not the same as that of the prison authorities he is not interested in producing x number of objects. He resents being confined in prison and resents
being made to work (alienation).
He does only as much work as will keep him out of trouble:

With the supervising prison officer, and.


With his fellow prisoners.

The end result is that the number of objects produced is considerably less than x.
In most organisations, the formal structure represents the model for interaction, but in reality the informal
relationship is of considerable importance in understanding how organisations work.
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2.2 Formal Organisational Structure.


The informal structure cannot replace the formal structure, but works within it. It can influence relationships
and effectiveness in both positive and negative ways. An understanding of it is an invaluable aid to good
management. Take another look at the formal structure (Figure 1.1) and then compare it with the informal
one illustrated in Figure 1.2 Look at the superimposed informal structure shown by the dotted lines.

Figure 1.2 Informal Structure.


An awareness of the informal relationships shown in Figure 1.2 would obviously influence how
communications are made. The effective manager will use such knowledge to break down resistance to
new measures (including health and safety).
A simple way of making a distinction between formal and informal organisation structure is:

(a) Formal - represented by the company organisation chart, the distribution of legitimate authority,
written management rules and procedures, job descriptions, etc.
(b) Informal - represented by individual and group behaviour.
2.3 The Organisation as a System.

In recent years, an approach has developed towards organisations using an analogy of control systems
theory.
This approach developed in the late 1960s, and it probably originated at this time for two primary
reasons:

First, the fresh concern with science following World War II, and such spectacular progress as
nuclear armaments and the computer and.
Secondly out of the realisation of the inadequacy of existing theory against the background of new,
more complex, organisations.

At its widest, the theory is married (or, at least, the attempt is made) to seemingly-unrelated spheres. The
work organisation is compared with, at one extreme, systems in the human body, atoms, bacteria, and so
forth, and, at the other, with the universe itself! This is general systems theory, seeking dynamic principles
applicable to all kinds of systems - living, mechanical and natural.
When we use the term "system", we mean the whole entity made up of interrelated, functioning parts. The
effective functioning of the whole depends, to a greater or lesser extent, on the performance of the parts. If
we look at the human body, certain parts - such as the heart, lungs and liver - are crucial to the survival of
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2.3 The Organisation as a System.


the body; others - such as hands, feet and gall bladder - function to assist survival, but the body could live
without them. All the parts of the human body are linked through the nervous system so that change or
malfunction in one part affects the other parts.
Likewise, the engine and its related parts are vital to the running of a car, whereas parts such as the
windscreen wipers merely help it to be effective and safe in wet conditions.
We can parallel this approach in looking at organisations. They, too, have certain vital parts and, if these
fail, the whole organisation ceases to function. For instance, if finance elements fail, the organisation will
have no funds and will cease to exist. Just as with the body or the car, change or malfunction in one part of
an organisation affects other parts - this is what we mean by saying that the parts of an organisational
system are "functionally interrelated".
Definition of a System.
There are a number of definitions of a system.
A simple but useful one is:
"A system is a regularly interacting or interdependent group of items forming a united whole." This is one of
several definitions which can be applied to systems. At this point, it is sufficient for you to know what a
system is. The systems approach to management is, basically, a way of thinking in which the organisation
is viewed as an integrated complex of interdependent parts which are capable of sensitive and accurate
interaction among themselves and within their environment. All systems display the characteristics of unity
or wholeness, interdependence, interactivity, and a set of common goals.
The systems-management method is, therefore, an attempt to demonstrate the way in which the systems
approach can be applied to those particular systems which involve human beings and their activities, i.e.
human-activity systems.
2.4 Characteristics of Systems.
a. Every system is part of a still larger system and itself encompasses many subsystems ("circles
within circles").
b. Every system: Whether biological, physical or social, has a specific purpose to which all its parts
are designed to contribute. Without such a common purpose, the interrelationships would be
meaningless.
c. A system is complex: Any change in one variable will effect change in others. (For example, a
change in one area can create frustrations and reduce job satisfaction in another area because one
variable in the system has been changed without regard to its effect elsewhere.)
d. Equilibrium: A system strives to maintain balance between the various pressures affecting it,
internal and external. Of course, some systems experience more pressures to change than others,
giving rise to stable and unstable systems.
Initial reaction to pressure is often what is called dynamic conservatism, the organisation fights like mad to
stay just as it is! However, sooner or later homeostasis takes place "activities which serve to stabilise and
vitalise the organisation as a whole in an evolving state of dynamic equilibrium".
Open and Closed Systems
One systems concept commonly used is the distinction between "open" and "closed" systems.
Closed Systems
A "closed" (or "impervious") system is one in which there is no interaction between any part of the system
and the external environment. You will realise that, nowadays, in the organisational sense, such a situation
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2.4 Characteristics of Systems.


does not arise, the concept is used purely for debating reasons. Weber, perhaps, looked at his ideal
bureaucracy as though a closed system were possible: socio-emotional factors did not intrude into the
organisation.
However, Michel Crozier (b.1922) a sociologist who wrote on the French bureaucracy, among others,
showed that the environment does affect both goals and the structuring of the organisation. A major
criticism of the classical school must be its unawareness of the invalidity of the closed-system approach.
An example where a relatively closed system is possible is in general engineering, where the system
monitors its own behaviour through a feedback loop, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Close system.


This type of system is incorporated into classic control systems for industrial processes.
Open Systems
The vast majority of organisations are open-loop, rather than closed-loop, systems. This is shown in Figure
2.
The inputs and outputs can be materials, knowledge and ideas, or even people (as in the education
system).
The employees who carry out the processing within the systems are, themselves, drawn from outside, and
so they are influenced at work by environmental factors.
The organisation must, therefore, deal with the demands and constraints imposed by the environment on
raw materials, money and consumer preferences, and it must also deal with the expectations, values and
norms of the people who must operate the work organisations.

Figure 2. Open system.


There are three major characteristics of open systems:

They receive inputs of energy from their environment.


They convert these inputs into outputs.
They discharge their outputs into their environment.

The Organisation as an Open System


In relation to an organisation, the inputs include people, materials, information and finance. These inputs
are organised and activated so as to convert human skills and raw materials into products, services and
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2.4 Characteristics of Systems.


other outputs which are discharged into the environment, as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. Characteristics of an open system.


The open system concept, in relation to the study of organisations, carries with it some optimism for the
likelihood of change and the introduction of new ideas and behaviour into the organisation.
As well as having this important facility of importing new energy and ideas from its environment, the open
system provides for adaptation to take place which, according to Talcott Parsons (1902 to 1979), is one of
the crucial factors in the survival of any organisation.
2.5 Structure and Function of Organisations.
The structure of an organisation is determined by its general activities - its size, location, business interests,
customer base, etc. It is also determined by the way in which its personnel are configured. The
organisational pyramid mentioned earlier is probably the principal model for most organisations, with
management at its apex and the workforce at its base.
The total management structure can be represented as a pyramid but within it, each separate department
has its own pyramid with its own power structure and departmental goals. With its own head, senior, middle
and junior members of staff, each departmental pyramid has to be climbed by the aspiring, career-minded
employee. Career progression depends on the ability to climb the pyramids - first the departmental one
and, with any luck, the company one.
If the organisation is very large, then considerable problems involving communication, efficiency,
effectiveness, etc. will be encountered. With giant enterprises such as Microsoft or Ford Motors,
organisational theory becomes more and more problematic. Is it realistic to expect their respective
managing directors to share the same goals as their most junior employees? Yet we started out by saying
that organisations were groups of persons interacting in order to achieve predetermined goals or
objectives.
Perhaps the success of these companies indicates that they have solved the organisational problems of
motivation and communication!
Figures 1.6 and 1.7 are two typical pyramids.

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2.5 Structure and Function of Organisations.

Figure 1.6: Typical Company Pyramid.

Figure 1.7: Typical Departmental Pyramid.


By examining the pyramidal structures, it is easy to identify the formal levels of authority and responsibility
within the organisation or department. Basically, authority or control runs from top to bottom or from apex to
base. However, there are other important management/employee relationships such as line management,
staff, and functional relationships.

Line Management.
A typical line management function in a factory is represented by Figure 1.8.

Figure 1.8.
From this, you can see a direct line of authority from the Works Director to the Shop-floor Operative.
Staff Relationship.
The managing director's secretary reports to the MD and carries out his instructions by passing on his
wishes to other directors and senior heads of department, but there is no "line" relationship between the
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2.5 Structure and Function of Organisations.


secretary and those departments. There is no instruction from the secretary as her/his authority stems from
the MD. A health and safety consultant reporting directly to a MD is not in a position to "instruct" heads of
departments to carry out health and safety policies or instructions. Again, his/her authority stems from the
MD and, in practice, he would advise heads of department of any changes in policy agreed with, and
authorised by, the MD. It would be most unlikely in such circumstances for a departmental head to refuse to
cooperate.
Functional Relationship.
In many larger organisations, certain members of staff have a company-wide remit to carry out activities
"across the board". Human resources departments often implement company appraisal plans which affect
every department; internal auditors visit every department to carry out their work; and quality control
inspectors and health and safety managers have a company-wide role in order to inspect and check
procedures. In such circumstances, any defects discovered would normally be dealt with by reporting them
to the departmental head rather than dealing directly with any individual members of the department.
The various hierarchies and line, staff and functional relationships can create huge problems for any
organisation. Office "politics" and protocols often obstruct communication, which is one of the keys to
efficient management.
2.6 Organisation for the Management of Health and Safety.
The management of health and safety is a function of management no less than the management of
production, purchasing, sales, human resources, etc.
The biggest stumbling block to inculcating the importance of good health and safety management in many
organisations is the attitude of management itself. "It is expensive"; "It does not produce added value"; "It is
not my responsibility"; "It is boring"; are cries of woe often voiced during any discussion of the subject. So
far we have looked at formal organisation, hierarchies and lines of authority. It should be a simple matter,
then, to write health and safety instructions and implement those using the models so far discussed.
But is it?
In the real world, health and safety is not, unfortunately, a high priority. Informal organisations as often as
not "water down" or even ignore the formal organisation's instructions. How can this state of affairs be
altered?
According to the HSE in "Successful Health and Safety Management" (HS(G)65) the key elements of
successful health and safety management are the concepts of: policy; organising; planning and
implementing; measuring performance; reviewing performance; and auditing (see Figure 1.9).

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2.6 Organisation for the Management of Health and Safety.

Figure 1.9.
These concepts require some explanation, and the following definitions are taken from the above
HSE guidance publication.

Policy: Used to describe the general intentions, approach and objectives of an organisation and the
criteria and principles on which actions and responses are based.
Organising: Used to describe the process of designing and establishing responsibilities and
relationships involving individuals within an organisation.
Planning: Used to describe the process by which the objectives and methods of implementing
policy are decided - the allocation of resources, the setting of standards and the control of risk.
Measuring: Used to describe the collection of information about the implementation and
effectiveness of plans and standards.
Auditing: Used to describe the process of collecting independent information on the efficiency,
effectiveness and reliability of the total (safety) management system.
Reviewing: Used to describe the activities involving judgements about performance, and decisions
about improving performance. Reviewing is based on information received from measuring and
auditing activities.

Anyone familiar with management training will recognise these concepts as tried and true standards for the
effective management of any activity, department or organisation and they apply in full measure to the
management of health and safety.
The syllabus has placed special emphasis on "Organisation for the management of health and safety."
According to the HSE "organising for health and safety involves establishing responsibilities and
relationships which promote a positive health and safety culture and secure the implementation and
continued development of the health and safety policy". In order to achieve these ends, the organisation
must concentrate on the Four Cs - Control, Cooperation, Communication, and Competence.
Control.
In order to achieve control, it is necessary to secure the commitment of all employees - managers and shop
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2.6 Organisation for the Management of Health and Safety.


floor alike - to clear and well-defined health and safety objectives.
These objectives will be set out in the policy and managers will be empowered to take responsibility for
controlling the working environment with the cooperation of all employees. This serves to encourage the
development of a safety culture which is based on enlightenment and self-awareness, with rules as a "fall
back" measure in the event of slippage from accepted safety cultural norms.
If we take a typical manufacturing organisation as an example, we can see that good health and
safety management can be divided into three stages where control needs to be exercised:

(a) Input.
(b) Work processes.
(c) Output.

At each stage, it is necessary to have in place agreed and acceptable standards of performance for hazard
identification; risk assessment; risk control; and implementation and maintenance of control measures.
Stage One - Control of Input.
Standards of performance to be applied to:

Design and selection of premises.


Design and selection of plant and substances.
Plant and substances used by others.
Acquisition and purchasing.
Human resources.
Information.

Stage Two - Control of Work Activities.


Standards of performance to be applied to:

Risk assessment.
Safe working methods.
Work instructions.
Personal protective equipment.
Accident prevention procedures.

Stage Three - Control of Outputs:


Standards of performance to be applied to:

Products and services.


By-products of work activities.
Information for external use.

Co-operation is achieved through:

(a) Health and safety committees and other consultative arrangements.


(b) The preparation and circulation of safety committee minutes and action points.
(c) The holding of "problem solving" meetings.

Communication is achieved through:

The collection of information from external sources.


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2.6 Organisation for the Management of Health and Safety.

The involvement of senior management in consultative arrangements.


The involvement of senior management in accident, ill health and incident investigation.
The involvement of senior management in planning, monitoring, auditing and reviewing
performance.
Discussion of health and safety matters at management meetings.
Providing systems for the cascading of information.
Instituting "tool-box" talks.
Provision of documentation of policy statements, organisation statements, performance standards,
rules and procedures.
Use of posters, bulletins, in-house newspapers and other similar publications,and.
Preparation and dissemination of information to outside organisations and individuals.

Competence of employees is achieved through:

Recruitment and placement procedures.


Provision of information, instruction and training.
Availability of competent cover for staff absences and.
General health promotion and surveillance.

Overview.
To summarise, organisations should aim at achieving success in managing health and safety by
maintaining a culture which motivates and involves all members of staff and effectively controls all risks.
The main factors in this strategy are:
Control by managers who lead by example.
Clear allocation of responsibilities for:

Policy formulation and development.


Planning and review of health and safety activities.
Implementation of plans and.
Reporting on performance.

Allocation of health and safety responsibilities to line managers with access to specialist advisers.
Allocation of health and safety responsibilities to competent persons who are given time and resources to
carry out those responsibilities.
Ensuring accountability of people allocated health and safety responsibilities. Setting those persons
realistic targets and providing positive reinforcement.
Providing adequate supervision, instruction and guidance.
Providing a payment and reward system which avoids conflict between production targets and health and
safety requirements.
Encouraging cooperation amongst employees and safety representatives by involving them
in:policy formulation and development;

Planning, implementing, measuring, auditing and reviewing performance.


Arrangements at operational level in support of more formal participative measures.

Ensuring effective communication by means of:visible behaviour;

Written material and.


Face-to-face discussion.

Ensuring competence by means of:


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2.6 Organisation for the Management of Health and Safety.

Recruitment.
Selection.
Placement.
Transfer and training and.
Provision of adequate specialist advice.
2.7 Role of the Safety Professional.

The Safety Practitioner.


This person may have the title of Safety Director, Manager, Officer or Adviser. The safety practitioner's
prime duty is to promote health and safety in the workplace. It is important to realise that the safety
practitioner does not absorb any of the line management responsibilities for health and safety.
A common misunderstanding is that a safety adviser or officer is appointed to manage safety, leaving other
managers to get on with their important responsibilities for finance, production, etc. Health and safety is not
an optional extra for managers; it is part of their role, of equal importance to their other duties.
Duties of Safety Practitioners.
Typical duties of safety practitioners are advising management on:

The identification of hazards and assessment of risk associated with injury to, or ill-health of,
personnel, damage to plant, equipment, materials, fire and explosion.
Improvement of existing working by the introduction of safe systems of work and performance
standards.
Legal requirements affecting safety, health and hygiene and welfare.
Provision and use of protective clothing and equipment.
Safety and suitability of new and hired plant and equipment; ensuring all appropriate test certificates
and technical instructions are obtained.
Potential hazards on new processes before work starts, and on the safety organisation required.
New methods of safe working arising from current technological development.
Changes in legislation.
Appropriate fire and rescue procedures.
Assisting with the prevention of accidents by raising the safety awareness of other employees.
Advising managers on the implementation and monitoring of safety programmes.
Regularly inspecting the workplace and work equipment to see that standards are being achieved,
and making recommendations for improvements.
Investigating all accidents, including dangerous occurrences and near-misses, filling out the
relevant forms and notifying appropriate authorities.
Assessing new and/or unusual processes for associated risks.
Keeping informed as to health and safety legislation, and informing the management of
recommendations to ensure compliance.
Assistance with the health and safety training of other employees.
Monitoring the effectiveness of the company safety policy in respect of the health and safety at work
of its employees, members of the public and those affected by the work, including its administration
and organisation.
The monitoring and assessment of the overall effect of the safety policy.
Improving the company's safety performance.
Enhancing the company's reputation in accident prevention.
Creating within the company a positive safety and health awareness and attitude at all levels of
employees, from directors to operatives.
Carrying out inspections (in association with the manager or foreman) to ensure that all regulations
are being observed; statutory notices have been posted; only safe systems of working are in
operation; mess rooms, washing facilities and other welfare amenities have been provided and are

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2.7 Role of the Safety Professional.

properly maintained.
Investigating the causes of any accidents or dangerous occurrences and recommending means of
preventing recurrence.
Supervising the recording and analysis of information on injuries, ill-health, damage and production
losses; assessing accident trends and reviewing overall safety performance.
Keeping contact with official and professional bodies, e.g. HSE, EMAS, fire authority, local
government authorities, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, voluntary organisations.
Liaison with safety representatives and safety committees, and assisting in management/operative
consultations.
Fostering within the firm an understanding that injury prevention and damage control are integral
parts of business and operational efficiency.
Keeping up to date with recommended codes of practice and new safety literature; circulating the
relevant information to each level of employee.
Liaison with contractors at times of joint responsibilities; checking of safety policies; monitoring and
advising as necessary on safety matters related to their operations.
Liaison with employer's insurance company(s).
Assisting management in monitoring the implementation of policy.

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999


Whilst the above in itself is an impressive list of duties of a health and safety adviser, the advent of these
Regulations has given legal formality to these roles.
In Regulation 7 in summary, it states that:
1. (1) Every employer shall, subject to paragraphs (6) and (7), appoint one or more competent persons
to assist him in undertaking the measures he needs to take to comply with the requirements and
prohibitions imposed upon him by or under the relevant statutory provision.
2. (2) Where an employer appoints persons in accordance with paragraph (1), he shall make
arrangements for ensuring adequate cooperation between them.
3. (3) The employer shall ensure that the number of persons appointed under paragraph (1) has the
time available to them to fulfil their functions, and the means at their disposal are adequate having
regard to the size of his undertaking, etc. etc. In the supporting guidance note in the associated
Code of Practice, it goes on further to add that:
1. "46. Employers are solely responsible for ensuring that those they appoint to assist them
with health and safety measures are competent to carry out whatever tasks they are
assigned and given adequate information and support." and "47. Employers must have
access to competent help in applying the provisions of health and safety law, including these
regulations and in particular in devising and applying protective measures unless they are
competent to undertake the measures without assistance. Appointment of competent
persons for this purpose should be included among the arrangements recorded under
Regulation 4(2)"
Thus it is now a legal requirement to the above Regulations that an employer should:

Appoint someone to be responsible for health and safety.


Ensure the competence of the appointed person(s).
Ensure he/she has adequate resources to carry out the role properly.
Ensure that the details of the person so appointed are made known to all personnel in the
organisation.

In many cases, the person so appointed will be the safety adviser. For many companies with fewer than
500 employees it may not be cost-effective to appoint a full-time safety adviser and for them, this role may
be combined with other duties. For even smaller companies, it may not be possible even to do this and they
will have to have recourse to specialist external consultants. However, whatever arrangement the employer
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2.7 Role of the Safety Professional.


makes, the above Regulations will apply.
3.0 Third Party Control.
Having discussed organisations and health and safety policies, we move on to the section of the syllabus
which deals with controlling and overseeing the activities and interests of third parties. We have to look at
this in relation to the use of effective management systems and the legal constraints that apply.
We shall therefore spend some time reviewing the concept of the duty of care before assessing the legal,
economic and moral obligations to third parties.
3.1 Duty of Care.
We are going to concentrate on the legal or statutory obligations owed to third persons, but we will also
consider the moral and economic obligations involved.
Who or what is a third person?
A simple legal definition is "one who is a stranger to a transaction or a proceeding".
Much of health and safety legislation is designed to protect the employee in the workplace from the
dangers involved in manufacturing and construction processes.
As it is impossible to carry out most operations in isolation from the communities in which we live, it
therefore becomes necessary to provide additional legal protection for the "stranger to the transaction", i.e.
the visitor, the contractor, or the member of the public who might be injured, or put at risk of injury because
of the nature of a particular undertaking. You learned in earlier study units about the common law duty of
care and the duty owed to visitors. To refresh your memory, the duty to take reasonable care is owed to
your "neighbour" at common law.
As everyone is our neighbour it then follows logically that we owe a duty of care to everyone at common
law. In the UK, The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 gives statutory effect to this principle, and it is
worth studying the wording of the sections of the Act which deal with it.
Sections 3, 4 and 5, HSWA:
1. It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far
as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are
not thereby exposed to risk to their health or safety.
2. It shall be the duty of every self-employed person to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to
ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that he and other persons (not being his employees)
who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.
3. In such cases as may be prescribed, it shall be the duty of every employer and every self-employed
person, in the prescribed circumstances and in the prescribed manner, to give to persons (not being
his employees) who may be affected by the way in which he conducts his undertaking, the
prescribed information about such aspects of the way in which he conducts his undertaking as
might affect their health and safety."
Section 4:
1. This section has effect for imposing on persons duties in relation to those who:
o (a) Are not their employees; but.
o (b) Use non-domestic premises made available to them as a place of work or as a place
where they may use plant or substances provided for their use there, and applies to
premises so made available and other non-domestic premises used in connection with them.
2. It shall be the duty of each person who has, to any extent, control of premises to which this section
applies or of the means of access thereto or egress there from or of any plant or substance in such
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3.1 Duty of Care.


premises, to take such measures as it is reasonable for a person in his position to take to ensure,
so far as is reasonably practicable, that the premises, all means of access therefore or egress there
from available for use by persons using the premises, and any plant or substance in the premises
or, as the case may be, provided for use there, is or are safe and without risks to health.
3. Where a person has, by virtue of any contract or tenancy, an obligation of any extent in:
o (a) The maintenance or repair of any premises to which this section applies, or any means of
access thereto or egress there from; or
o (b) The safety of or absence of risks to health arising from plant or substances in any such
premises; that person shall be treated, for the purposes of subsection (2) above, as being a
person who has control of the matters to which his obligation extends.
4. Any reference in this section to a person having control of any premises or matter is a reference to a
person having control of the premises or matter in connection with the carrying on by him of a trade,
business or other undertaking (whether for profit or not)."
Section 5:
1. "It shall be the duty of the person having control of any premises of a class prescribed for the
purposes of Section 1(1)(d) to use the best practicable means for preventing the emission into the
atmosphere from the premises of noxious or offensive substances, and for rendering harmless and
inoffensive such substances as may be so emitted.
2. The reference in subsection (1) above to the means to be used for the purposes there mentioned
includes a reference to the manner in which the plant provided for those purposes, is used and to
the supervision of any operation involving the emission of the substances to which that subsection
applies.
3. Any substance or a substance of any description prescribed for the purposes of subsection (1)
above as noxious or offensive shall be a noxious or, as the case may be, an offensive substance for
those purposes whether or not it would be so apart from this subsection.
4. Any reference in this section to a person having control of any premises is a reference to a person
having control of the premises in connection with the carrying on by him of a trade, business or
other undertaking (whether for profit or not) and any duty imposed on any such person by this
section shall extend only to matters within his control." When reading the sections it is important to
recognise the qualified duties denoted by "so far as is reasonably practicable"; "reasonably
practicable"; and "best practicable means". You should note that in environmental matters, "best
practicable means" has now been replaced (as a result of the Environmental Protection Act 1990)
by the phrase "best practicable environmental option".
ILO C155 Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981, Article 17 states that:
'whenever two or more undertakings engage in activities simultaneously at one workplace, they shall
collaborate in applying the requirements of this convention'.
The Malaysian ACT 514 Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 Part IV - General duties of
employers and self-employed persons to persons other than their employees.
The Act states:
1. 17. It shall be the duty of every employer and every self-employed person to conduct his
undertaking in such a manner as to ensure, so far as is practicable, that he and other persons, not
being his employees, who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their safety
or health.
2. It shall be the duty of every employer and every self-employed person, in the prescribed
circumstances and in the prescribed manner, to give to persons, not being his employees, who may
be affected by the manner in which he conducts his undertaking, the prescribed information on such
aspects of the manner in which he conducts his undertaking as might affect their safety or health.

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3.2 Third Parties.


The employer owes a duty of care to contractors, visitors, the general public and trespassers.
Definitions where available are:
Contractor.

"one who is engaged to perform a certain task without direction from the person employing him".

According to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (see later) a contractor is a
person who:

"carries out or manages construction work, or who arranges for persons under their control to carry
out or manage construction work".

This is a narrow definition, and it is perhaps more useful to couple it with the definition of "selfemployed" in Section 53, HSWA 1974 as:

"an individual who works for gain or reward otherwise than under a contract of employment, whether
or not he himself employs others".

Visitors and Trespassers.


What is the difference, then, between a "contractor" and a "visitor", and between a "visitor" and the "general
public"? From what we have learned, there is a contractual relationship between the employer or occupier
of premises and a contractor.
A, the employer, has invited B, the contractor, into his premises or onto his site to carry out work on A's
behalf. B, or his employees, may be affected by A's work activities. A must therefore give B such prescribed
information about the manner in which he conducts his (A's) undertaking as might affect B's health and
safety. Similarly, B as an employer or self-employed person must supply A with prescribed information as
to the manner in which he conducts his (B's) undertaking - a reciprocal exchange of relevant health and
safety information designed to protect the employees of both parties and anyone else who might be
affected by the activities of both undertakings.
What about "visitor" and "general public"? The easiest way to make a distinction between the two is to
make entry to the premises or site the demarcation point. Once a member of the general public enters the
premises or site, he/she becomes a visitor.
Once inside the workplace, the standard of care or protection required for visitors is generally the same as
that provided for employees. However, where very young or disabled persons are concerned, different
criteria might apply in order to achieve the same standard.
Outside the workplace, the general public has a right to protection from risks to their health and safety
arising from the manner in which the undertaking is conducted - risks from fire, explosion, collapse of
building or scaffolding or release of harmful substances into the atmosphere.
The responsibility of employers and the self-employed to visitors, etc. will, under certain circumstances,
apply to trespassers. The duty under the Act to conduct the undertaking so as not to expose people to risks
to their health and safety implies taking precautions to deter people from unlawfully entering the premises.
This can be done by providing warning notices, fences and barriers.
Construction sites and railway lines pose particular problems, especially where children are concerned.
You should note that under Sections 4 and 5 of the Act, persons who are in control of non-domestic

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3.2 Third Parties.


premises owe similar duties of care to non-employees.
In Section 4, where a person has a degree of control over premises, he owes a duty to those who use the
premises either as a place of work or for the use of machinery or substances. In such circumstances, the
person in control must ensure that the premises and any machinery or substances in the premises are safe
and without risks to health. "In control" applies to people such as owners and occupiers of premises or
people who, by virtue of a contract or tenancy agreement, have specific obligations in respect of the repair
or maintenance of premises, or to ensure that machinery or substances are safe and no risk to health.
Section 5 states that a person in control of prescribed premises has a general duty to use the best practical
means (now the Best Practicable Environmental Option) to prevent the emission into the atmosphere of
noxious or offensive substances or to render harmless and inoffensive any such substances which are
emitted.
Even before the advent of the 1974 Act, anyone starting up in business would have identified the financial
and physical risks involved in the enterprise.
The 1974 Act itself did not actually specify the risk assessment concept, but obviously the obligations on
employers to provide safe places and systems of work, etc. under the Act implied that some kind of
assessment of the risks to health and safety involved in the undertaking needed to be made by the
employer.
In any case it would be virtually impossible to write a coherent safety policy (required under the Act) without
recourse to some kind of risk assessment.
In 1992 (updated in 1999), the requirement for risk assessment was specified, in no uncertain terms, in the
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations. In addition, the Regulations required that
employers should define the preventative and protective measures to be taken in respect of any identified
risks; supply such information to employees; provide competent assistance to facilitate health and safety;
provide health surveillance where necessary, and train employees in safe working practices.
As far as the management and control of contractors is concerned, the significant Regulations are those
concerned with risk assessment, health and safety arrangements, competent persons, arrangements for
services and imminent danger, cooperation and coordination, persons working in host employers'
undertakings, provision of information to employees including temporary workers; and consultations with
safety representatives.
The management of contractors is specifically addressed under the Construction (Design and
Management) Regulations (CDM Regulations) (see later) but in practical terms, the contractor should base
his operations on the employer's obligations, first of all under the 1974 Act and then the requirements of the
1999 Management Regulations.
He is then in a position to deal effectively with the CDM Regulations. We need therefore to look at the
relevant sections of the Regulations.
3.3 Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
These Regulations took effect on 1 January 1993. There are seventeen regulations plus a schedule which
deals with consultation with safety representatives; the Regulations follow from what is known as the
Framework Directive (Directive 83/391/EEC) and the following are the more important regulations:

Assess the risk to the health and safety of employees and to anyone affected by work activity.
Make arrangements for putting into practice the preventative and protective measures that follow
from that risk assessment.
Carry out health surveillance of employees where appropriate.
Set up emergency procedures.

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3.3 Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Inform and train employees as necessary.


It is necessary to carry out a risk assessment and prepare a written programme to cover planning,
organisation, control, monitoring and review.

The Regulations also place duties on employees similar to those under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
There is a requirement to form consultative mechanisms, e.g. Health and Safety Committees, irrespective
of trade union involvement.
Selected Important Regulations.
Specifically, the following regulations are of significant importance:
Regulation 3: Risk Assessment.
Risk assessment covers the following points:

All employers must assess the risk to their employees.


Employers with five or more employees must record the assessment.
The purpose is to identify the measures necessary to comply with relevant statutory provisions.
The assessment must be suitable and sufficient.
Employers should take account of HSE guidance, supplier instructions and trade press in order to
familiarise themselves with hazards and risk in their organisation.
Employers should prioritise the necessary measures.
The assessment must be relevant to the risk.
The assessment must be reviewed regularly.

There are no fixed rules for risk assessment. It can range from the very simple, based on straightforward
ordinary common sense, to the highly technical, based on a professional qualified risk assessment.
It may be a generic assessment or based on a variety of separate assessment exercises. Where an
assessment has been carried out under other regulations, it need not be repeated so long as it remains
valid. As stated, for five or more employees the assessment must be recorded. Ideally, it should be linked
to the health and safety policy. It may be recorded electronically so long as it is readily retrievable.
The assessment should state the significant findings:

The significant hazards.


The control measures in place.
The population affected; and
The measures necessary for prevention and protection.

Regulation 4: Principles of prevention to be applied.


Where an employer implements preventative and protection measures he shall do so on the basis of the
principles specified in Schedule 1 to these Regulations.
Schedule 1 lays down the principles to be applied as follows:

a) Avoiding risks.
b) Evaluating those risks that cannot be avoided.
c) Combating the risks at source.
d) Adapting the work to the individual.
e) Adapting to technical progress.
f) Replacing the dangerous with the non or less dangerous.
g) Developing a coherent overall prevention policy.
h) Giving collective protective measures priority over individual measures.

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3.3 Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

i) Giving appropriate instructions to employees.

Regulation 5: Health and Safety Arrangements.

Planning - systematic setting of objectives and priorities.


Organisation - ensuring that objectives are met as planned.
Monitoring and review - supervision, management, quality control.

Regulation 6: Health Surveillance.


Every employer should ensure that his employees are provided with such health surveillance as is
appropriate, having regard to the risks to their health and safety which are identified by the assessment.
3.4 Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (cont'd).
Regulation 7: Health and Safety Assistance.
Every employer shall ..... appoint one or more competent persons to assist him in undertaking the
measures he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon him by or
under the relevant statutory provisions.
(See later on "Competent Person".)
Regulation 8: Serious and Imminent Danger.
This deals with the employer's need to:

Devise appropriate procedures to be followed in emergencies.


Nominate a sufficient number of competent persons to implement the procedures.
Restrict access to dangerous areas unless the employee has received appropriate training.
So far as is reasonably practicable, inform employees of the nature of any hazards and the
procedures to be adopted in order to avoid them.
Enable the employee to stop work immediately and go to a place of safety.
Prevent employees from resuming work until the danger has passed.

Regulation 9: Contacts with External Services.


Every employer shall ensure that any necessary contacts with external services are arranged, particularly
as regards first-aid, emergency medical care and rescue work.
Regulation 10: Information for Employees.
Employers must provide employees with the following information:

Risk to health and safety.


Preventive and protective measures.
The procedures for dealing with and reacting to emergencies as outlined in Regulation 7.
The identity of the competent person nominated in Regulation 7.
The nature of risks notified to him by any other employers sharing the workplace.

Regulation 11: Cooperation and Coordination.


Where two or more employers share a workplace, there is a duty to cooperate and coordinate measures
relating to all statutory duties.
Where a main employer controls the work site, he should inform other employers of the site-wide
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3.4 Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (cont'd).


arrangements and invite a sharing (reciprocation) of health and safety procedures, hazards and risks for
the benefit of all persons on the site. Where there is no controlling employer, the employers concerned
should appoint a health and safety coordinator.
Regulation 12: Persons Working in Host Employers' Undertakings.
This regulation applies where employees of employer A carry out work in the undertakings of employer B.
Employees of employer A could be working for employer B under a service contract for cleaning, repair,
maintenance, etc., or employees in temporary employment business could be working under A's control.
The important principle is the fact that persons who visit another employer's premises to carry out work
must be provided with appropriate information and instructions regarding relevant risks to their health and
safety.
Regulation 13: Capabilities and Training.

On joining the company; special attention to the needs of young workers.


On being transferred or given new responsibilities.
Where new work equipment is introduced.
Where a new system of work is introduced.

All health and safety training shall be repeated periodically where appropriate, and shall be adapted to take
account of any new or changed risks to health and safety. Training shall take place during working hours.
3.5 Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (cont'd).
Regulation 14: Employees' Duties.
Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 imposes the duty on employees to take reasonable
care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions at
work.
Section 8 of the 1974 Act imposes the duty on employees not to "interfere with or misuse anything provided
by the employer in the interests of health and safety".
Regulation 14 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 reinforces Sections 7
and 8 of the 1974 Act.
Regulation 15: Temporary Workers.
This regulation supplements previous regulations requiring the provision of information to temporary
workers (Regulations 7, 10 and 12).
Regulations 16,17 and 18: Provision for Pregnant Women.
The MHSW Regulations 1999 introduced new risk assessment provisions for the employers of women of
child-bearing age or new or expectant mothers who may be at risk because of a specific work process,
working conditions, or a physical, chemical or biological agent.
A woman who feels she is at risk should produce written notification of her condition to her employer (a
certificate signed by a medical practitioner or midwife).
The risk assessment must identify the specific risks posed to the health and safety of pregnant women and
new mothers in the workplace.
According to advice from the HSE, the main risks are:

Physical agents - shocks, vibration, manual handling, noise, non-ionising radiation, and extremes
of heat and cold.
Biological agents - listeri, rubella and chickenpox viruses, toxoplasma, cytomegalovirus, hepatitis
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3.5 Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (cont'd).

B, and HIV.
Chemical agents - mercury, antimitotic drugs, carbon monoxide, and chemicals listed under certain
Directives.
Working conditions - conditions such as mining work and display screen equipment. (It is widely
accepted that work with VDUs does not give rise to problems associated with radiation, but the
pregnant worker may not accept this. Continuing to work with the equipment could therefore give
rise to stress, and employers should treat this situation with sympathy).

Having identified the risks and/brought them to the attention of the employee, the employer must remove
the hazard or reduce the risk to its minimum.
If there is a residual risk, the employer must take the following action:

(a) Regulation 16(2) - temporarily adjust a pregnant employee's working conditions or hours; or
offer suitable alternative work (Employment Rights Act 1996).

If neither of these alternatives is acceptable:

(b) Regulation 16(3) - suspend the employee on full pay for as long as is necessary to protect her
health and safety or that of her child.

You should note that the "maturity" provisions of the Regulations apply to all employees, regardless of
length of service with an employer.
Regulation 19: Protection of Young Persons.
The Health and Safety (Young Persons) Regulations 1997 amended the Management Regulations to
include specific risk assessments for the employment of children and young persons. A child is defined as a
person who is not over compulsory school age, and a young person is one who has not attained the age of
18 years.
Under the regulations, an employer may not employ a young person unless he has carried out, in respect
of that young person, an assessment.
The assessment must take account of:

The inexperience, lack of awareness of risks and immaturity of the young person.
The fitting out and layout of the workplace and workstation.
The nature, degree and duration of exposure to physical, biological and chemical agents.

The form, range and use of work equipment and the way in which it is handled.
The organisation of processes and activities.
The extent of the health and safety training provided to the young person.

The risks from certain agents, processes and works.

In addition, every employer must ensure that a young person employed by him is not involved in
work:

Which is beyond his physical or psychological capacity.


Which exposes him to agents that are toxic, carcinogenic, cause heritable genetic damage or harm
to the unborn child or have any other chronic effect on human health.

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3.5 Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (cont'd).

Which causes harmful exposure to radiation.


Where there is the risk of accidents which it may be reasonably assumed cannot be recognised or;
avoided by young persons owing to their insufficient attention to safety or lack of experience or
training.
in which there is a risk to health from: extreme cold or heat, noise, vibration.

There is provision in the Regulations for the employment of a young person (not a child) in
otherwise potentially hazardous situations where:

The employment is necessary for training purposes.


The young person will be supervised by a competent person.
Any risk will be reduced to the lowest reasonably practicable level.

Where a child is to be employed, the employer must, prior to the employment, provide the parent of the
child with comprehensible and relevant information concerning the risks identified in the assessment and
the protective and preventative measures involved.
3.6 Definition of a Competent Person.
The term "competent person" occurred in the Factories Act 1961, the Mines and Quarries Act 1954, in
associated legislation and more recently in offshore safety legislation to describe the qualifications of a
person entitled to carry out periodic examinations on pressure vessels, lifting machinery and the like, or in
some circumstances, to supervise safe working conditions.
However, there was no statutory definition, despite the importance of the term.
(a) Case Law.
In Brazier v. Skipton Rock Co Ltd (1962) the meaning of the word "competent" was considered by Mr
Justice Winn. His Lordship said that an academic training and qualifications were not the only criteria in
assessing competence, since experience may be an equally valid tutor.
He considered that in relation to the examination of machinery or plant, the person should have such
practical and theoretical knowledge and actual experience of the type of machinery or plant which he is to
examine as will enable him to detect defects or weaknesses which it is the purpose of the examination to
discover, and to assess their importance in relation to the strength and functions of the particular machinery
or plant.
In Gibson v. Skibs A/S Marin (1966), Mr Justice Cantley considered the meaning of the expression
"competent person" under the Docks Regulation 1934, and similarly stressed the importance of common
sense and experience. He said:
"I think that a competent person for this task is a person who is a practical and reasonable man, who knows
what to look for and knows how to recognise it when he sees it."
Regulation 7.
The term has been given fresh currency in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations
1999.Regulation 7 prescribes that:
1. "Every employer shall appoint one or more competent persons to assist him in undertaking the
measures he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon him by
or under the relevant statutory provisions.
2. Where an employer appoints persons in accordance with paragraph (1), he shall make
arrangements for ensuring adequate cooperation between them."
For the first time, the term is defined as follows under Regulation 7(5):
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3.6 Definition of a Competent Person.


"A person shall be regarded as competent for the purposes of paragraph (1) where he has sufficient
training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable him properly to assist in undertaking the
measures referred to in that paragraph."
Competence, in the sense it is used in these regulations, does not necessarily depend on the possession of
particular skills or qualifications.
Simple situations may require only the following:

An understanding of relevant current best practice.


Awareness of the limitations of one's own experience and knowledge; and
The willingness and ability to supplement existing experience and knowledge. This reflects the
previous judgements of Messrs Winn and Cantley mentioned above.

(c) Guidance Note.


The guidance note accompanying the Regulations gives the following advice:
"External services employed will usually be appointed in an advisory capacity only. They will often be
specialists or general consultants on health and safety matters."
The appointment of such health and safety assistants, departments or advisers does not absolve the
employer from responsibilities for health and safety under the Health and Safety at Work Act and other
relevant statutory provisions. It can do no more than give added assurance that these responsibilities will
be discharged adequately.
Employers are solely responsible for ensuring that those they appoint to assist them with health and safety
measures are competent to carry out whatever tasks they are assigned, and given adequate information
and support.
In making their decisions, employers should take into account the need for:
1. A knowledge and understanding of the work involved, the principles of risk assessment and
prevention, and current health and safety applications.
2. The capacity to apply this to the task required by the employer, which might include identifying the
health and safety problems, assessing the need for action, designing and developing strategy and
plans, implementing these strategies and plans, evaluating their effectiveness and promoting and
communicating health and safety and welfare advances and practices.
The provision of effective health and safety measures in more complex or highly technical situations will call
for specific applied knowledge and skills which can be offered by "appropriately qualified specialists".
3.7 Overlapping Responsibilities.
Because of the wide-ranging general nature of the measures contained in the Management Regulations,
there is an inevitable duplication or overlapping of many existing regulations. Where this occurs,
compliance with the duty in the more specific regulations will suffice to comply with the corresponding duty
in the Management Regulations.
COSHH, for example, requires an assessment to be made of risks arising from exposure to hazardous
substances. There is no need to repeat this under the Management Regulations.
If the Management Regulations' duties exceed those of a specific regulation, additional measures may be
required in order to comply fully with the Management Regulations.
Reciprocal Duties.
We have discussed the reciprocal exchange of information under Section 3(3) of the HSWA (see above).
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3.7 Overlapping Responsibilities.


This reciprocity is reflected still further in Regulations 11 and 12 of the MHSW Regulations.
Regulation 11: Cooperation and Coordination.
1. "Where two or more employers share a workplace (whether on a temporary or a permanent basis),
each such employer shall:
o (a) Cooperate with the other employers concerned so far as is necessary to enable them to
comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon them by or under the relevant
statutory provisions.
o (b) (taking into account the nature of his activities) Take all reasonable steps to coordinate
the measures he takes to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon him
by or under the relevant statutory provisions with the measures the other employers
concerned are taking to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon them
by or under the relevant statutory provisions; and
o (c) Take all reasonable steps to inform the other employers concerned of the risks to their
employees' health and safety arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his
undertaking.
2. Paragraph (1) shall apply to employers sharing a workplace with self-employed persons, and to selfemployed persons sharing a workplace with other self-employed persons as it applies to employers
sharing a workplace with other employers; and the reference in that paragraph to employers and the
reference in the said paragraph to their employees shall be construed accordingly."
Regulation 12: Persons Working in Host Employers' Undertakings.
1. "Every employer and every self-employed person shall ensure that the employer of any employees
from an outside undertaking who are working in his undertaking is provided with comprehensible
information on:
o (a) The risks to those employees' health and safety arising out of or in connection with the
conduct by that first-mentioned employer, or by that self-employed person of his
undertaking; and
o (b) The measures taken by that first-mentioned employer or by that self-employed person in
compliance with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon him by or under the
relevant statutory provisions, insofar as the said requirements and prohibitions relate to
those employees.
2. Paragraph (1) shall apply to a self-employed person who is working in the undertaking of an
employer or a self-employed person as it applies to employees from an outside undertaking who are
working therein; and the reference in that paragraph to the employer of any employees from an
outside undertaking who are working in the undertaking of an employer or a self-employed person,
and the references in the said paragraph to employees from an outside undertaking who are
working in the undertaking of an employer or a self -employed person shall be construed
accordingly.
3. Every employer shall ensure that any person working in his undertaking who is not his employee
and every self-employed person (not being an employer) shall ensure that any person working in his
undertaking is provided with appropriate instructions and comprehensible information regarding any
risks to that person's health and safety which arise out of the conduct by that employer or selfemployed person of his undertaking.
4. (4) Every employer shall:
o (a) Ensure that the employer of any employees from an outside undertaking who are working
in his undertaking is provided with sufficient information to enable that second-mentioned
employer to identify any person nominated by that first-mentioned employer in accordance
with Regulation 7(1)( h) to implement evacuation procedures as far as those employees are
concerned; and
o (b) Take all reasonable steps to ensure that any employees from an outside undertaking
who are working in his undertaking receive sufficient information to enable them to identify
any person nominated by him in accordance with Regulation 7(1)(b) to implement
evacuation procedures as far as they are concerned.
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3.7 Overlapping Responsibilities.


5. Paragraph (4) shall apply to a self-employed person who is working in an employer's undertaking as
it applies to employees from an outside undertaking who are working therein; and the reference in
that paragraph to the employer of any employees from an outside undertaking, who are working in
an employer's undertaking and the references in the said paragraph to employees from an outside
undertaking who are working in an employer's undertaking shall be construed accordingly."
Once you have deciphered the legal gobbledegook in which these two regulations are written, you will see
that there is a certain amount of overlap between the two but clearly, all eventualities are covered.
In layman's language, persons who visit another employer's premises to carry out work must be provided
with appropriate information and instructions regarding relevant risks to their health and safety.
The host employer's instructions should be concerned with the risks pertaining to his activities or the
premises themselves, but equally the visitors may introduce risks to the resident workforce arising from
their activities, equipment or substances they may bring with them. Their employers should inform the host
employer of such risks.
You will note under the following Construction (Design and Management) Regulations that the mutual
exchanges of information between principal contractor and other contractors (and amongst other
contractors) continue this important principle. Why has it become necessary to implement such detailed
legislation as the MHSW and CDM Regulations?
If employers (contractors) ignore safety measures (and reference to daily media bulletins indicates that they
do), it is necessary to impose industry standards that are reasonable and capable of being enforced
through the courts. Fatal accidents in the construction industry unfortunately continue to be amongst the
highest for any sector of employment in the UK, although the figures from 2007-2008 show a fall from 79 to
72. It was 77 in 2006-2007, which shows that although the trend is downwards, aberrations such as this
show the continued need for saftey measures.
It is quite clear that the construction industry is a long way from reducing the fatal accident figures to an
acceptable level, but the current legislation, especially the CDM Regulations, is having an impact on the
problem.
Prior to the Regulations, most reputable construction companies already operated well-tried and tested
arrangements and techniques for managing directors.
The practical controls for the construction industry are worth restating here:

Appointment of site safety manager.


Risk assessment.
Method statements.
Permits to work.
Site safety inspections.

An examination of the CDM Regulations will show that reading between the lines of Regulations 8, 9, 15,
16, 18 and 19, the above practicalities of control must form the basis of their implementation. What has
happened in effect is that the small "one man and his dog" operation must now be brought under the
umbrella of health and safety by these new regulations. The large contractor, when inviting tenders from
smaller contractors, puts his health and safety policy in the invitation to tender documentation, and will
expect to see the details of the smaller contractor's policy included in his tender. This is now current
practice. If the requisite health and safety information is not included at the tender stage, the smaller
contractor is often out of the competition.
In some cases, where the smaller operator perhaps does not have the requisite health and safety
resources (e.g. fewer than five employees, therefore no written policy and no evidence of health and safety
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3.7 Overlapping Responsibilities.


training) but has the necessary trade skills and expertise, the larger contractor may treat him as an
"employee" for health and safety purposes. In such a case, the larger contractor would have to supply any
training considered necessary.
The knock-on effect of the legislation has been to emphasise the need for greater attention to health and
safety by the small contractor if he wants to continue in business. A prcis of the CDM Regulations follows.
3.8 Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.
We will look at the UK (Europe) and then at equivalents communally named 'Designing for Safety' within
Asia and USA.
The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM Regs) implement EC Council Directive
92/57/EEC, Temporary or Mobile Construction Sites Directive. The Regulations implement only those
aspects of the Directive which relate to design and management and came into force on April 6th 2007.
The key principles on which the Regulations are based are that:

Safety must be considered in a systematic manner from the outset of a project.


All persons whose activities contribute to health and safety should be involved in a project.
Effective planning and coordination should take place throughout the duration of the project.
Competent persons must be involved with all stages of a project, and adequate resources must be
made available to them to undertake health and safety provisions; health and safety aspects of a
project must be planned and managed.
There must be effective exchange and communication of relevant information between those
persons involved in a project.
Formal health and safety records must be compiled and kept.

Effective management is to be considered in terms of a prioritised hierarchy:

First, Risk Avoidance.


Second, Risk Reduction.
Third, Risk Control.

Terminology.
Agent in relation to any client means any person who acts as agent for a client in connection with the
carrying on by the person of a trade, business or other undertaking (whether for profit or not).
Cleaning work means the cleaning of any windows or any transparent or translucent wall, ceiling or roof in
or on a structure, where such cleaning involves a risk of a person falling.
Construction phase means the period of time starting when construction work in any project starts, and
ending when construction work in that project is completed.
Construction work, that is the carrying out of any building, civil engineering or engineering construction
work, includes any of the following:
The construction, alteration, conversion, fitting out, commissioning, renovation, repair, upkeep, redecoration
or other maintenance (including cleaning which involves the use of water or toxic substances for the
purposes of Regulation 7 of the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations
2002), decommissioning, demolition or dismantling of a structure.
The preparation for an intended structure, including site clearance, exploration investigation (but not site
survey) and excavation, and laying or installing the foundations of the structure.
The assembly of prefabricated elements to form a structure, or the disassembly of prefabricated elements
which, immediately before such disassembly, formed a structure.
The removal of a structure, or part of a structure, or of any product or waste resulting from demolition or
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3.8 Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.


dismantling of a structure, or from disassembly of prefabricated elements which, immediately before such
disassembly, formed a structure, and the installation, commissioning, maintenance, repair or removal of
mechanical, electrical, gas, compressed air, hydraulic telecommunications, computer or similar services
which are normally fixed within or to a structure, but does not include the exploration for, or extraction of,
mineral resources or activities preparatory thereto carried out at a place where such exploration or
extraction is carried out.
Contractor means any person who carries on a trade, business or other undertaking (whether for profit or
not) in connection with which he undertakes to, or does carry out or manage construction work and
arranges for any person at work under his control (including, where he is an employer, any employee of
his) to carry out or manage construction work.
Design, in relation to any structure includes drawing, design details, specification and bill of quantities
(including specification of articles or substances) in relation to the structure.
Designer means any person who carries on a trade, business or other undertaking in connection with
which he prepares a design; or arranges for any person under his control including, where he is an
employer, any employee of his to prepare a design, relating to a structure or part of a structure.
Developer means a commercial developer who has sold domestic premises prior to completion of the
project, and who arranges for the construction work to be carried out.
Domestic client means a client for whom a project is carried out, not being a project carried out in
connection with the carrying on by the client of a trade, business or other undertaking (whether for profit or
not).
Health and Safety File: a record of information for the client which focuses on health and safety. It alerts
those who are responsible for the structure and equipment in it to the significant health and safety risks
which will have to be dealt with during subsequent use, construction, maintenance, repair and cleaning
work.
Health and Safety Plan: documentation which serves two purposes. The pre-tender stage health and
safety plan prepared before the tendering process brings together the health and safety information
obtained from the client and designers, and aids selection of the principal contractor. The health and safety
plan during the construction phase details how the construction works will be managed to ensure health
and safety.
Monitoring: monitoring has two components. Active measures performance against plans and standards
worked out and agreed at the start of the contract. It shows how much management is committed to
achieving objectives and maintaining standards. Reactive involves the investigation of accidents and
incidents and the analysis of data from specific investigations.
CDM Coordinator: a company, partnership, organisation or an individual who coordinates and manages
the health and safety aspects of design. The CDM Coordinator also has to ensure that the pre-tender stage
of the health and safety plan and the health and safety file are prepared.
Principal contractor: who is appointed by the client and has the overall responsibility for the management
of site operations, including overall coordination of site health and safety management.
Project means an operation in which includes, or is intended to include, construction work.
Safety method statement: a written document laying out the work procedure and sequence of operation
designed to ensure health and safety. It results from the risk assessment carried out for the task or
operation, and the control measures identified. If the risk is low, an oral statement may suffice.
Structure means any:

Building, steel or reinforced concrete structure (not being a building).

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3.8 Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

Railway line or siding.


Tramway line.
Dock, harbour, inland navigation.
Tunnel, shaft.
Bridge, viaduct.
Waterworks, reservoir, pipe or pipeline (whatever, in either case, it contains or is intended to
contain), cable, aqueduct.
Sewer, sewage works.
Gasholder.
Road.
Airfield.
Sea defence works.
River works.
Drainage works.
Earthworks, lagoon, dam, wall, caisson.
Mast, tower, pylon.
Underground tank.
Earth retaining structure or structure designed to preserve or alter any natural feature, and.
Any other structure similar to the foregoing; or
Any framework, false work, scaffold or other structure designed or used to provide support or means
of access during construction work.
Or any fixed plant in respect of work which is installation, commissioning, decommissioning or
dismantling and where such work involves a risk of a person falling more than 2 metres.
3.9 Main Duty Holders.

The Regulations impose obligations on five categories of individuals:


(a) Clients.
Clients must ensure that CDM Coordinators, principal contractors, designers and contractors appointed to
each construction project are competent, and that adequate resources for health and safety in terms of
finance and time have been allocated to each stage of the project.
(b) CDM Coordinators.
CDM Coodinators have responsibility for health and safety during the design and planning stage, and for
starting the health and safety plan and file.
(c) Designers.
Designers must ensure that their designs avoid risks to health and safety or, if this is not possible, that any
remaining risks are reduced. Sufficient and adequate information about the risks must be provided.
Designers' duties apply not only to the actual construction of the project but also to its subsequent
maintenance, and include both the initial specification and the drawings.
(d) Principal Contractors.
Principal contractors must carry forward the health and safety plan and are responsible for coordinating the
working activities of all other contractors on site. This includes checks on the provision of all relevant
information and that employees and self-employed workers are consulted and trained in relation to health
and safety.
(e) Other Contractors and Self-employed Persons.
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3.9 Main Duty Holders.


All other contractors and self-employed workers on site must cooperate with the principal contractor and
provide him with all relevant information relating to health and safety and pertaining to the risks associated
with their work, including any necessary control measures.
Apart from their individual roles, the identified categories should be considered as a planning team
responsible for dealing with the various stages of a construction project.
Methodology.
The stages in a construction project are:

Concept and feasibility.


Design and planning.
Tender/selection stage.
Construction phase.
Commissioning and handover.

In addition to the method statements, which many reputable construction companies have adopted, the
following additional documents are now required by the Regulations:

Notification of Project Form.


Health and Safety Plan.
Health and Safety File.

The CDM Regulations apply to all notifiable construction work, i.e. work with at least 30 days duration or
involving more than 500 person days of work. They also apply to all non-notifiable work which involves five
or more persons on site at any one time.
Design work and projects involving demolition are covered by the Regulations, regardless of the duration or
number of workers involved.
Construction work carried out on domestic premises is excluded, provided the property is not used for
business purposes. However, the designers' duties will continue to apply and the project must be notified to
the HSE where necessary.
3.10 Designing for Safety.
The Regulations impose obligations on five categories of individuals:
(a) Clients.
Clients must ensure that CDM Coordinators, principal contractors, designers and contractors appointed to
each construction project are competent, and that adequate resources for health and safety in terms of
finance and time have been allocated to each stage of the project.
(b) CDM Coordinators.
CDM Coodinators have responsibility for health and safety during the design and planning stage, and for
starting the health and safety plan and file.
(c) Designers.
Designers must ensure that their designs avoid risks to health and safety or, if this is not possible, that any
remaining risks are reduced. Sufficient and adequate information about the risks must be provided.
Designers' duties apply not only to the actual construction of the project but also to its subsequent
maintenance, and include both the initial specification and the drawings.
(d) Principal Contractors.
Principal contractors must carry forward the health and safety plan and are responsible for coordinating the
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3.10 Designing for Safety.


working activities of all other contractors on site. This includes checks on the provision of all relevant
information and that employees and self-employed workers are consulted and trained in relation to health
and safety.
(e) Other Contractors and Self-employed Persons.
All other contractors and self-employed workers on site must cooperate with the principal contractor and
provide him with all relevant information relating to health and safety and pertaining to the risks associated
with their work, including any necessary control measures.
Apart from their individual roles, the identified categories should be considered as a planning team
responsible for dealing with the various stages of a construction project.
Methodology.
The stages in a construction project are:

Concept and feasibility.


Design and planning.
Tender/selection stage.
Construction phase.
Commissioning and handover.

In addition to the method statements, which many reputable construction companies have adopted,
the following additional documents are now required by the Regulations:

Notification of Project Form.


Health and Safety Plan.
Health and Safety File.

The CDM Regulations apply to all notifiable construction work, i.e. work with at least 30 days duration or
involving more than 500 person days of work. They also apply to all non-notifiable work which involves five
or more persons on site at any one time.
Design work and projects involving demolition are covered by the Regulations, regardless of the duration or
number of workers involved.
Construction work carried out on domestic premises is excluded, provided the property is not used for
business purposes. However, the designers' duties will continue to apply and the project must be notified to
the HSE where necessary.
3.11 The Role of Design Professionals in Influencing Construction Site Safety.
The role of the design professional has traditionally been to design a building, facility, or structure such that
it conforms with accepted engineering practices, local building codes and is safe for the public. The safety
of construction workers is left up to the contractors. However, design professionals can influence
construction safety by making better choices in the design and planning stages of a project. This would
result in fewer site decisions that have to be made by contractors and workers that can lead to accidents
(the root causes previously mentioned).
Research suggests that designers can in fact have a strong influence on construction safety. In 1985 the
International Labour Office recommended that designers give consideration to the safety of workers who
will be involved in erecting buildings. In 1991 the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and
Working Conditions concluded that about 60% of fatal accidents in construction are the result of decisions
made before the site work begins. In 1994, a study of the United Kingdom's construction industry found a
causal link between design decisions and safe construction.
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3.11 The Role of Design Professionals in Influencing Construction Site Safety.

Time/Safety Influence Curve (From Behm) The ability to influence safety diminishes as schedule moves
toward start-up.
3.12 Legal, Economic and Moral Obligations to Third Parties.
This study unit has examined the legal obligations owed to third persons under health and safety
management systems, but what about moral obligations?
The legal obligation emanated from basic moral principles and especially the duty of care we owe to our
"neighbours" recognised by common law and restated by Lord Atkin in Donoghue v. Stevenson (1932),
which is also known as 'the one with the snail'.
In that case, the House of Lords ruled that a person might owe a duty of care to another person even if
there was no contractual relationship between the parties. It was held that every person owes a duty of
care to his neighbour, "to persons so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have
them in contemplation as being so affected".
Since 1932, there has been further case law on the subject but the general principle remains unaffected.
It is considered that a duty of care exists where:

There is a sufficient relationship of proximity or neighbourhood between the parties (defendant and
claimant).
The defendant should be reasonably able to foresee that carelessness on his part may damage the
claimant.
The law should allow that duty to result in liability.

It is quite clear that there is a moral imperative which "obliges" us to look after other people, but because of
the complexities of modern society we now have legislation which provides standards by which we look
after the physical well-being of our neighbours - the young, the elderly, the physically and mentally
handicapped and the visitor who may enter our premises and workplaces, completely oblivious to the
hazards which may lurk there.
It might be asked that if there is this moral obligation, is there a need for so much legislation? Unfortunately
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3.12 Legal, Economic and Moral Obligations to Third Parties.


there is; the catalogue of disasters which have occurred during the last few years - the Bradford Football
Stadium fire, with 56 fatalities; the Kings Cross fire, with 39 dead; the sinking of the Herald of Free
Enterprise ferry at Zeebrugge with the loss of 188 lives and the collision on the Thames involving the
Marchioness where 51 people were killed - to recognise that moral values by themselves are not enough to
protect the vulnerable from the dangers of modern day living.
Apart from moral and legal obligations to third parties, there is another consideration, and that is the
economic factor. What are the economic implications of neglect of health and safety in the workplace?
Looking at the wider picture, the costs nationally are enormous. According to a statement by the CBI, in
1996 187 million working days were lost due to sickness or 8.4 working days per employee. During the
same year. according to TUC estimates, workplace injuries and ill-health cost every family 21 per week in
extra taxes, high prices and loss of income to victims. Over a period of ten years in the construction
industry alone according to HSE figures, 88 members of the public have been killed and a further 1,300
seriously injured. Economic considerations are two-fold. Accidents resulting from poor health and safety
management result in huge financial losses to everyone concerned. Poor health and safety management is
often itself caused by the serious lack of economic resources available for health and safety purposes both
at national and workplace levels.
According to the Director General of the British Safety Council:
"The consequences of poor safety management are 33 million working days lost through work-related
illness and accidents and an estimated 16 million a year lost to the economy" (Safety Management,
October 1997).
It is not a difficult management exercise to compare the costs of preventing accidents with the costs arising
from them (compensation, lost production, increased insurance premiums, overtime, legal fees, fines, etc.)
but the simple logic appears to escape many boardrooms. Perhaps it is the fact that a cost is tangible and
visible, whilst a saving is something hypothetical that cannot be quantified until it happens, often sometime
into the future. Businesses tend to think in the here and now and it is not surprising that they tend to focus
on the bottom line, to the exclusion of other, more meritorious matters.
Prevention of accidents and ill-health is a worthwhile investment which attracts enormous dividends both
for the individual employer and the national economy as a whole.
4.0 Internal Consultation.
Here we deal with internal consultation and the provision of information. This area must be considered in
terms of legal requirements, as well as effective health and safety management.
Whilst formal consultation on health and safety is necessary within the workplace, always remember the
importance of informal communications in the organisation. The role of the health and safety professional
and of safety representatives is also significant.
These are all topics that we shall discuss in this penultimate study unit, as well as the various relevant
statutory provisions: ILO C155 Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981, ILO R164 Occupational
Safety and Health Recommendation ,1981, the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees
Regulations 1977, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Health and
Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996.
We shall look at the provision of information in the next study unit.
4.1 Communication and Consultation in the Workplace.
Although there had been vestiges of consultation in the mining industry since 1872, which were reinforced
in the Mines and Quarries Act 1954, it was not until the 1960s that workers were voluntarily involved in joint
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4.1 Communication and Consultation in the Workplace.


safety committees.
The Robens Committee, in compiling its Report, looked closely at the importance of communication and
consultation between employer and employee in the workplace, and it is probably accurate to say that
formal consultation in the modern era started in the 1970s.
Robens made the following observations:
The Involvement of Workers.
"We have stressed that the promotion of safety and health at work is first and foremost a matter of efficient
management. But it is not a management prerogative. In this context more than most, real progress is
impossible without the full cooperation and commitment of all employees."
A Statutory Requirement to Consult.
"It is generally accepted that there is no credible way of measuring the value of consultative and
participatory arrangements in terms of their direct effect upon day-to-day safely performance.
''Nevertheless, most of the employers, inspectors, trade unionists and others with whom we discussed the
subject are in no doubt about the importance of bringing workers more directly into the actual work of selfinspection and self-regulation by the individual firm.
''We recommend, therefore, that there should be a statutory duty on every employer to consult with his
employees or their representatives at the workplace on measures for promoting safety and health at work
and to provide arrangements for the participation of employees in the development of such measures."
Formal Consultation.
During the period of the Robens Committee deliberations, an "Industrial Relations Code of
Practice" was published in 1971; the two main themes which underlie the Code are:

The vital role of collective bargaining carried out in a reasonable and constructive manner between
employers and strong trade unions.
The importance of good human relations, based on trust and confidence, between employers and
employees in every establishment.

The Code suggests that:


"good industrial relations are a joint responsibility. They need the continuing cooperation of all concerned management, employers' associations, trade unions and individual employees - and the discussion of dayto-day problems as they occur. The Code is designed to encourage and assist that cooperation."
It is worth looking at the communication and consultations sections of the Code as they form the basis of
subsequent consultation principles embodied in legislation in 1974, 1977, 1992 and 1996.
Industrial Relations Code of Practice
Communication
In its day-to-day conduct of business, management needs both to give information to employees and to
receive information from them. Effective arrangements should be made to facilitate this two-way flow. The
most important method of communication is by word of mouth, through personal contact between each
manager and his immediate work group or individual employees, and between managers and employee
representatives.

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4.1 Communication and Consultation in the Workplace.


Personal contact should be supplemented as necessary by:

Written information provided through, for example, notice boards, house journals or handbooks.
Training, particularly induction courses for new employees.
Meetings arranged for special purposes.

Subject to limitations on disclosure of information, management should regularly provide employees with
information about, the performance and plans both of the establishment and, so far as they affect it, of the
undertaking of organisational and management changes which affect employees.
Management should ensure that:

Managers, including supervisors, regard it as one of their principal duties to explain management's
policies and intentions to those responsible to them, and have the information ready to do so.
Work instructions are conveyed clearly.

Management, in cooperation with employee representatives, should:

Provide opportunities for employees to discuss matters affecting their jobs with those to whom they
are responsible.
Ensure that managers are kept informed of the views of employees and of the problems which they
may face in meeting management's objectives.

Consultation.
Where committees are set up, management and employee representatives should agree on:

The composition, objectives and functions of the committee and of the sectional and functional
subcommittees.
The arrangements for the election or nomination of representatives.
The rules of procedure.
Following up on Section 2 of the 1974 Act, the legislators gave statutory effect to safety
representatives and safety committees in the 1977 Regulations.

The range of subjects to be covered.


4.2 Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977.
Safety Representatives: Appointment, Powers and Duties.
Under Section 2(4) of HSWA, safety representatives may be appointed, under regulations made by the
Secretary of State, by recognised trade unions. These regulations are the Safety Representatives and
Safety Committees Regulations 1977. The Regulations are accompanied by an Approved Code of Practice
and Guidance.
Notes.
In addition, there is a separate Approved Code of Practice on Time Off for the Training of Safety
Representatives. It is worth noting that the Offshore Installations (Safety Representatives and Safety
Committees) Regulations 1989 allow for the appointment of non-union safety representatives on offshore
installations, and EU influence is likely to exert pressure on the UK to relax the "recognised union"
conditions.
The representatives are chosen from the employees. They are usually selected from persons who have at
least two years' experience with their employer or in similar employment, but this is not mandatory. The
employer must give the representative time off with pay for the purpose of carrying out his/her functions as
a safety representative, and for training.
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4.2 Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977.


A duty lies on the employer under Section 2(6) of HSWA to consult the representative(s):
"with a view to the making and maintenance of arrangements which will enable him and his employees to
cooperate effectively in promoting and developing measures to ensure the health and safety at work of the
employees, and in checking the effectiveness of such measures."
Note that this requirement is not optional; the duty is an absolute one.
(a) Main Functions.
The main function of a safety representative is to represent the employees in consultations with the
employer. Other functions include the right to carry out inspections of the workplace, to look at the causes
of accidents, to receive information from the health and safety inspectors and to attend meetings of the
safety committee.
Safety representatives also have the right to ask for, and receive from, the employer certain information
(see later) which relates to the place of work. Such information would include records of accidents and
information relating to hazards. However, certain information is not available to the representatives, e.g.
concerning national security or personal/medical information relating to any recognisable individual without
that individual's permission. The employer must also inform the safety representatives of the name(s) of the
person(s) nominated to act in an emergency, provide any health and safety information on the planning and
organisation of health and safety, any health and safety training and the health and safety consequences of
new technology.
Representatives do not have powers to stop either work or machinery; they may only advise in such
matters.
(b) Appointment by Recognised Independent Trade Union.
A safety representative may be appointed only by a recognised, independent trade union if he is to receive
the legal rights given under the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations (SR & SC
Regs). To be an independent trade union, it must be on the list held by the Certification Officer and have
applied for, and received, the Certificate of Independence from him.
To be recognised, the trade union must be acknowledged by the employer for negotiating purposes.
However, there does not have to be a formal agreement concerning recognition as each case will be
decided on the basis of the facts. The trade union must, though, notify the employer in writing of the
appointment of a safety representative in order that that representative may receive his legal rights.
No legal stipulation exists as to the number of safety representatives that may be appointed, but the
Guidance Notes accompanying the SR & SC Regs give the following criteria which trade unions
should follow:

Look at the total number of employees.


Look at the various work activities.
Look at the size of the workplace and the variety of workplace locations.
Is a shift system in operation?
What is the type of work activity and the degree and character of any inherent danger?

The Regulations specify that a safety representative shall cease to be one in the following
circumstances:

When the trade union notifies the employer in writing that the appointment has ceased.
When he ceases to be employed at the workplace.
When he resigns.

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4.2 Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977.


(c) Summary of Duties.
Among the functions of the safety representative, the SR & SC Regs mention the following:

To investigate potential hazards at the workplace.


To investigate complaints by an employee he represents.
To make representations to the employer.
To carry out inspections.
To consult with HSE inspectors.
To receive information from inspectors.
To attend safety committee meetings.

Safety representatives are entitled to inspect the workplace, or part of it, on three occasions:

If they have not inspected it within the previous three months.


Where there has been substantial change in the conditions of work.
After a notifiable accident, dangerous occurrence or notifiable illness, as specified in the Reporting
of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR).

The safety representatives shall notify the employer of their intention to carry out an inspection, where it is
reasonably practicable. The employer shall provide such facilities and assistance, including facilities for
independent investigation and private discussion, as the safety representatives may reasonably require.
It is worth noting that, apart from the general duty placed on him as an employee, no safety representative
is legally responsible for accepting the course of action taken by his employer, nor is the representative in
any danger of criminal proceedings being taken against him should he omit to carry out any of his
functions.
By the same token, it must be clearly understood that such protection will only be afforded to a
representative whilst acting in his jurisdiction as such.
4.3 Entitlement to Information.
On reasonable notice being given, the employer must allow the safety representatives to inspect and take
copies of any document relevant to the workplace or to the employees whom they represent and which the
employer is required to keep by virtue of any relevant statutory provision. (Remember that relevant
statutory provisions are listed in the Schedules to HSWA).
Safety representatives are entitled to receive information, under Regulation 7(2) of the SR & SC Regs, from
employers. The employer must make available information, within his knowledge, which is necessary to
enable the safety representative to perform his function.
However, the employer need not disclose information which:

Is against the interests of national security.


Would contravene a prohibition imposed by, or under, an enactment.
Relates specifically to an individual, unless he consents to its disclosure.
Other than for its effects on health and safety, would cause substantial injury to the undertaking.
Has been obtained by the employer for the purposes of bringing, or defending, any legal
proceedings.

In Waugh v. British Railways Board (1980), it was held that, to be privileged, the document must have been
prepared for the dominant purpose of possible use in litigation. Thus an accident report, prepared as
routine practice, would not be privileged if it were later used in a legal proceeding.
Safety representatives are also entitled to receive information from inspectors under Section 28(8) of
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4.3 Entitlement to Information.


HSWA. However, the inspector must not give information which he judges to be irrelevant to the health and
safety of the employees. In addition, the inspector must give a copy to the employer of any information
given to the safety representative.
The above is, of course, only a brief outline of the Regulations, but it is sufficient for examination purposes.
Enforcement of Rights.
A safety representative may complain to an industrial tribunal that:

The employer has not permitted him time off for the purpose of carrying out his functions or
receiving training.
The employer has failed to pay him for his time off.

In general, the training will be provided by the TUC or the safety representative's own trade union and not
by the employer, although the latter still has a duty to train the individual as an employee under Section 2 of
HSWA. However, the requirement for trade union approved training is in the Approved Code of Practice
and does not represent an absolute legal duty.
In White v. Pressed Steel Fisher Ltd (1980) the union wanted the safety representative to attend its own
training course: the employers wanted to provide an in-house course and refused time off with pay. It was
held that the employers were not acting unreasonably. Where the safety representative is to attend a union
course, the management can request a copy of the syllabus.
The enforcement of other duties in the Act and Regulations is the responsibility of the appropriate enforcing
authority.
However, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will not usually go into immediate enforcement of
breaches of the SR & SC Regulations, but will try the following methods first:

Give relevant advice to the company.


Explore the services of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).
Explore the mechanism offered by the employment tribunals.

We may note in passing that, to date, very few cases have arisen under breaches of the SR & SC
Regulations.
Safety Committees.
A duty is placed on the employer, under the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations,
when so requested in writing by at least two safety representatives, to establish a safety committee within
three months following the request.
Again, consultation with those representatives who made the request shall be made by the employer.
Representatives of trade unions will also have to be consulted.
The function of the safety committee is to keep under review the measures taken to ensure the health and
safety at work of the employees, and such other functions as may be prescribed.
(a) Composition and Functions.
The composition of the committee is a matter for the employer, although he must have at least one safety
representative on it, and post a notice stating the composition of the committee.
Apart from Section 2(7) of HSWA, which requires the committee to review the measures taken to ensure
the health and safety of employees, there are no other legal requirements concerning the committee's
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4.3 Entitlement to Information.


function. However, the Guidance Notes contain useful information which can be referred to.
(b) Membership.
Membership of the safety committee should be decided following consultations between representatives of
the trade unions and the management. Safety representatives are not appointed by this committee.
It is essential that a proper balance be achieved in the structure of the safety committee. No firm lines are
laid down in this respect, but obviously a committee of this nature should have as its members persons
both from the management sector and from the shop floor. It may be useful to elect ex officio members,
e.g. the medical officer or one of his staff, the works engineer, the production manager and the safety
practitioner. The aim is to keep membership of the committee reasonably compact, and to ensure a
mechanism exists for the consideration and implementation of recommendations by senior management.
Although not having executive power, the committee has a strong advisory role to play in the management
and resolution of an organisation's health and safety problems.
The committee should meet on a regular basis, circulate an agenda in advance, and keep proper minutes
which record what action is to be taken and by whom.
In the original 1974 Act, there was a Section 2(5) which allowed for the appointment of safety
representatives who were not members of recognised trade unions as prescribed by Section 2(4). This
section was repealed, however, leaving the trade union safety representative as the only recognised
representative provided under the legislation. Obviously this meant that companies who did not have a
recognised trade union within the workforce were not legally obliged to allow any safety representations
from amongst their employees, although many of the better companies did so as they recognised their
value in the management process.
Although the 1974 Act appeared on the surface to open the way for democratic representation and
consultation, the repeal of Section 2(5) and the limiting of representation to members of "recognised trade
unions" did not help members of trade unions who were not recognised, or employees who had no trade
union affiliation whatsoever. It took a further 19 years before statutory representation was extended to nonunion members. Again, it was the influence of EC membership which brought about the change. It was
affected because of the UK's difficulty in complying fully with the Framework Directive 89/391/EEC. This
Directive was the basis for the "Six Pack" and encouraged the implementation of improved health and
safety measures including the provision of information to, and consultation with, all employees on matters
of health and safety.
In 1994, the UK government finally agreed that consultation with recognised trade union representatives
only did not comply with the law, and as a result the 1996 Regulations were enacted.
4.4 Health & Safety Consultation with Employees.
ILO Occupational Safety and Health Convention (C155), Article 20 and ILO Occupational Safety and
Health Recommendation (R164) have published information on consultation with employees.
R164 Occupational Safety and Health Recommendation, 1981 requires:
1. 12.(1) 'the measures taken to facilitate the co-operation referred to in Article 20 of the Convention
should include, where appropriate and necessary, the appointment, in accordance with national
practice, of workers' safety delegates, of workers' safety and health committees, and/or of joint
safety and health committees; in joint safety and health committees workers should have at least
equal representation with employers' representatives.'
2. 12.(2) Workers' safety delegates, workers' safety and health committees, and joint safety and
health committees or, as appropriate, other workers' representatives should:
o (a) Be given adequate information on safety and health matters, enabled to examine factors
affecting safety and health, and encouraged to propose measures on the subject.
o (b) Be consulted when major new safety and health measures are envisaged and before
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4.4 Health & Safety Consultation with Employees.

o
o

o
o
o
o
o
o

they are carried out, and seek to obtain the support of the workers for such measures.
(c) Be consulted in planning alterations of work processes, work content or organisation of
work, which may have safety or health implications for the workers.
(d) Be given protection from dismissal and other measures prejudicial to them while
exercising their functions in the field of occupational safety and health as workers'
representatives or as members of safety and health committees.
(e) Be able to contribute to the decision-making process at the level of the undertaking
regarding matters of safety and health.
(f) Have access to all parts of the workplace and be able to communicate with the workers
on safety and health matters during working hours at the workplace.
(g) Be free to contact labour inspectors.
(h) Be able to contribute to negotiations in the undertaking on occupational safety and health
matters.
(i) Have reasonable time during paid working hours to exercise their safety and health
functions and to receive training related to these functions.
(j) Have recourse to specialists to advise on particular safety and health problems.

We will now look at the UK's Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996 for a
fuller outline of how this can be practised.
The Regulations became effective on 1 October 1996. They implemented provisions made by the
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requiring employers to consult with safety
representatives, in good time, on various matters.
You should note that these Regulations extend consultation to non-union representatives of employee
safety.
In non-union workplaces, consultation must take place on the following:

Introduction of any measure affecting the health and safety of the employees concerned.
The appointment of persons nominated to provide health and safety assistance, and assist in
emergency procedures (as required by Regulations 6 and 7 of the 1992 Management Regulations).
Any health and safety training or information the employer is required to provide to the employees
or the safety representatives.
The health and safety consequences of the planning and introduction of new technologies in the
workplace.
Provision of any relevant information required on health and safety legislation.

Consultation.
Employers may consult employees directly through employee representatives elected by a group of
employees. Where consultation is through such employee representatives, the employer must inform the
employees of the names of those representatives, and the group of employees they represent. Employees
must also be told when the employer discontinues consultation with those employee representatives.
Discontinuation may occur when:

(a) The employee represntatives have informed the employer that they no longer intend to represent
their group of employees in health and safety consultations.
(b) The employee representatives no longer work in the group of employees they represent.
(c) The period of election elapsed without the employee representatives being re-elected.
(d) Employee representatives have become incapacitated from performing the duties required under
these Regulations.

Employees and their representatives must be informed by the employer if he decides to change from
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4.4 Health & Safety Consultation with Employees.


consulting with the employee representatives to consulting with the employees directly.
Provision of Information.
Where consultation is direct, employers must provide all information the employees will require in order to
participate fully in the consultations. The same applies to employee representatives, who must be given all
necessary information to enable them to perform their functions and participate in consultation.
In addition, these employee representatives must also be provided with information associated with the
records to be kept under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995
(RIDDOR), where the information relates to the workplace of the employees they represent (but not to
individual employees).
The employer is not obliged to disclose information that:

Does not relate to health and safety.


Is against the interests of national security.
Would contravene any prohibition imposed under any legislation.
Relates specifically to an individual (unless that individual has given his or her consent).
Would damage the employer's undertaking, or the undertaking of another person where that other
person supplied the information, or that has been obtained by the employer for the purpose of any
legal proceedings.

Functions of Representatives of Employee Safety.


Employee representatives may make representations to the employer on any hazards, dangerous
occurrences and general health and safety matters, particularly in relation to the matters on which
employers are obliged to consult, which may affect the health and safety of the employees they represent.
They may also represent their group of employees in consultations with enforcing authority inspectors.
Training, Time Off and Provision of Facilities.
Employers must provide employee representatives with appropriate training and other relevant facilities so
as to enable the representatives to carry out their duties efficiently. Employers must also meet all
reasonable costs associated with the training, including travel and subsistence. In addition, the employee
representatives must be given paid time off to perform their safety duties, and to attend relevant training
courses. Paid time off must also be provided for candidates standing for election as employee
representatives to allow them to perform their duties as candidates.
If employers refuse to allow employee representatives time off with pay to fulfil their duties, the
representatives may complain to an employment tribunal.
Miscellaneous Provisions.
The Employment Rights Act 1996 has been amended to protect employees who participate in consultation
with employers, from suffering any detriment or unfair dismissal in health and safety cases. The
Regulations may not be used in civil proceedings for a breach of duty under these Regulations.
4.5 Other Forms of Consultation/Communication.
Informal Consultation.
From a study of the preceding formal processes of consultation, you might take the view that there is no
need for informal consultation. Yet, when we where looking at formal and informal organisations (earlier), in
many ways the informal route was often more effective in getting things done.
Bear in mind that the 1996 Regulations permit employers to consult employees "directly" without the need
to go through union or employee representative channels but give little indication as to how this should be
done.
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4.5 Other Forms of Consultation/Communication.


Direct consultation would involve a certain amount of bureaucratic procedure to ensure communication and
feed-back with every member of staff and would still therefore be considered a formal arrangement.
How, then, does informal consultation take place?
If you look back at the Industrial Relations Code of Practice, you will see that "the most important method of
communication is by word of mouth, through personal contact between each manager and his immediate
work group or individual employees, and between managers and employee representatives".
These opportunities for personal contact occur almost daily in the various meetings which take place
between management and employee - workplace inspections, tool-box talks, induction training, safety
audits, even staff appraisals. Individuals will often express genuine personal feelings in a one-to-one
situation when free from peer group pressure in a more open manner than in a group.
Peer Groups.
We are all members of groups, unless we are peculiarly reclusive. The golf, tennis, darts, bowls clubs, etc.
are all groups to which we belong and consciously or unconsciously, we adapt to their norms. What we are
actually doing is responding to peer group pressure.
A peer group is a group of individuals of a similar age or background, or who have some similar social
characteristics in common, with whom a person mixes in a social context. The workplace is just such a
group and we behave, again knowingly or unknowingly, in accordance with the collective, accepted
behaviour of the group. Within the group, individuals can be guided into patterns of behaviour by processes
of which they are largely unaware. Thus the peer group is a socialising force where the process is carried
out by the equals of the individual rather than by his supervisors or managers.
It has long been recognised that the peer group is a powerful force for conformity and represents a system
of rewards and punishments often manifested in approval or disapproval. Individuals accept the norms and
values of friends or colleagues (peers). If these norms are oriented in favour of encouraging good health
and safety practices in the workplace, an individual entering that group will normally react or respond by
accepting those same values.
Safety Circles.
Safety circles are small groups of employees - not safety representatives or members of safety committees
- who meet informally to discuss safety problems in their immediate working environment. The idea is
based on the "quality circles" concept, and allows the sharing of ideas and the suggestion of solutions. Any
insurmountable problem would be referred to the safety representative or safety committee.
Works and Office Committees.
These committees are composed of shop floor representatives, supervisory and management staff who
meet once a week (normally) to discuss general matters affecting the conduct of the undertaking. Matters
for discussion would typically include shift patterns, maintenance and breakdown procedures, and
production targets. It is difficult to discuss any of these without impinging on health and safety requirements
and although not an objective of such meetings, health and safety policies and arrangements would come
under examination. Again, any health and safety problems identified would probably be referred to senior
management through the safety representative or safety committee.
4.6 The Role of the Safety Professional in the Consultative Process.
The Safety Professional.
We examined the role of the Safety Professional previously. In the HSE publication "Successful Health and
Safety Management", the role and functions of the health and safety adviser are described as follows.
Role and Functions of Health and Safety Advisers.
Organisations that successfully manage health and safety give health and safety advisers the status and
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4.6 The Role of the Safety Professional in the Consultative Process.


ensure they have the competence to advise management and workers with authority and independence.
Subjects on which they advise include:

Health and safety policy formulations and development.


Structuring and operating all parts of the organisation (including the supporting systems) in order to
promote a positive health and safety culture, and to secure the effective implementation of policy.
Planning for health and safety, including the setting of realistic short and long-term objectives,
deciding priorities and establishing adequate performance standards.
Day-to-day implementation and monitoring of policy and plans, including accident and incident
investigation, reporting and analysis.
Reviewing performance and auditing the whole safety management system.

To fulfil their functions they have to:

(a) Maintain adequate information systems on relevant law (civil and criminal) and on guidance and
developments in general and safety management practice.
(b) Be able to interpret the law and understand how it applies to the organisation.
(c) Establish and keep up-to-date organisational and risk control standards relating to both
"hardware" (such as the place of work and the plans, substances and equipment in use) and
"software" (such as procedures, systems and people) - this task is likely to involve contributions
from specialists, e.g. architects, engineers, doctors, and occupational hygienists.
(d) Establish and maintain procedures for the reporting, investigating and recording and analysis of
accidents and incidents.
(e) Establish and maintain adequate and appropriate monitoring and auditing systems.
(f) Present themselves and their advice in an independent and effective manner, safeguarding the
confidentiality of personal information such as medical records.

Relationships of the Adviser.


Within the Organisation.
The position of health and safety advisers in the organisation is such that they support the provision of
authoritative and independent advice. The post-holder has a direct reporting line to directors on matters of
policy, and authority to stop work which is being carried out in contravention of agreed standards and which
puts people at risk of injury. Health and safety advisers have responsibility for professional standards and
systems, and on a large site or in a group of companies may also have line management responsibility for
junior health and safety professionals.
Outside the Organisation.
Health and safety advisers are involved in liaison with a wide range of outside bodies and individuals
including: local authority environmental health officers and licensing officials; architects and consultants,
etc; the fire service; contractors; insurance companies: clients and customers; the Health and Safety
Executive; the public; equipment suppliers; HM Coroner or Procurator-Fiscal; the media; the police; general
practitioners; hospital staff.
You can see that this is a very wide brief and indicates that the safety professional requires a broad and
extensive knowledge of health and safety matters in order to fulfil his duties.
He is the organisation's first port of call when health and safety problems are encountered, and will give
advice on short-term safety solutions to problems, and follow this through with perhaps a recommendation
for a change in policy or the introduction of new technology or new/revised safe systems of work.
He will also recommend the services of outside expert consultancy where the problem requires scientific,
medical or technical advice which is outside his area of expertise.
He may also be involved in safety committees, either in a chairing role or simply in an advisory capacity
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4.6 The Role of the Safety Professional in the Consultative Process.


during committee deliberations. It is interesting to note that in October 1997, a discussion document was
circulated within health and safety circles concerning the role of the safety professional in the workplace.
The term "safety professional" covers such diverse staff as safety advisers, occupational hygienists,
doctors, nurses, safety managers, personnel officers, training officers, facilities managers, ergonomists,
engineers and radiation protection advisers. The qualifications range from the highly-qualified doctor to the
personnel manager who has completed perhaps a non-examination, three-day, basic health and safety
awareness course.
The "professional" safety adviser needs to be a person with a wide range of abilities and a recognised
safety qualification at degree level if possible, or at least an IOSH or BSc diploma in occupational safety
and health. Another problem lies in the reporting arrangements for the health and safety adviser. Does
he/should he report to a main board director? Should he have any direct influence on line managers? The
sensible answer to both questions is "yes" but the outcome of the discussion is awaited with interest.
4.7 Behavioural Aspects of Consultation.
In any social group, conflict may arise between two or more people, interest groups, genders, ethnic or
racial groups, etc. Obviously, where there are assemblies of people in the workplace, there may be conflict
within and between groups. The safety committee member "A" serves on the committee to represent his
department or perhaps a particular group of workers with common skills. Similarly, committee member "B"
represents his department members.
A and B, although sharing a common membership of the safety committee, may well be pursuing different
objectives. They may both be seeking improved health and safety arrangements for their members but may
be in competition for the allocation of limited resources to their particular project. The safety representative
serving on a safety committee may see his role as one in which he feels the need to question and
destructively criticise, as a matter of course, any suggestion advanced from a management representative
on the committee. Remember, however, that the safety representative is a worker's representative and not
part of the management team. Neither is he necessarily "a competent person". His perception of health and
safety problems will be different from that of management and not constrained by budgeting considerations.
His role is primarily a policing one in which he monitors the safety performance of management and,
because of peer group pressure, he may see himself in a conflicting rather than cooperative role.
The safety representative can sometimes acquire delusions of grandeur and perceive himself as an expert
on health and safety matters. Conflict may arise between the safety representative and the first line
supervisor where the safety representative may have advised (wrongly) his members not to carry out a
particular management instruction. Indeed, in the printing industry in the years prior to the Wapping
newspaper dispute (National Newspapers), management instructions to the shopfloor had to be channelled
through the Father of the Chapel (union representative) who was invariably accompanied by the safety
representative. This is not to say that conflict always arises as a result of worker attitude towards
management. The converse is equally true with management taking the view that their opinions are correct
simply because they are management and know better.
Consultation about problems where the views of all the participants are considered should lead to a
lessening of conflict and arrival at effective decisions.
4.8 Positive Consultation.
We have been discussing consultation at some length, but what does it mean? Dictionary
definitions include the following:
Consult:

To seek advice or information.


To consider in company.
to take counsel.
To give or receive professional advice.

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4.8 Positive Consultation.

To confer with two or more in counsel.

We all have one or more of those definitions in mind whenever we see the word "consultation", but what
about "positive consultation"?
Some management believe that informing the workforce after they have decided to introduce some new
technology or downsize the company by means of a redundancy programme is "consultation".
This it is certainly not.
Consultation means to discuss (with others) a given agenda, and to give or receive information or advice
about that agenda prior to taking any action or arriving at decisions about possible courses of action.
Positive consultation is based on willingness on both sides - employer and employee - to consider
problems together, to make use of each other's knowledge and expertise and to apply that collective
wisdom to the problem in hand.
As long ago as 1972, the CBI and TUC, in a joint statement about health and safety, stated:
"There must be a genuine desire on the part of management to tap the knowledge and experience of its
employees, to the advantage of the company and all concerned, and an equally genuine desire on the part
of the employees to improve the safety performance and health conditions in their own and the company's
interest".
The emphasis in positive consultation must be on prior or before the event consultation, followed by
effective decision-making based on the collective expertise and knowledge drawn from both sides.
It is worth noting that the legislators have concentrated on the concept of prior consultation in enacting the
1996 legislation when they state that the employer is obliged to consult "in good time" with the safety
representative or elected representative of employee safety on the following matters:

The introduction of any new measure at a workplace which may substantially affect health and
safety.
Arrangements for appointing competent persons to assist the employer with health and safety and
for implementing procedures relating to serious and imminent danger.
Any health and safety information that the employer is required to provide he planning and
organisation of health and safety training and health and safety implications of the introduction, or
planned introduction, of any new technology.

We have said that consultation, to be positive, has to be a "joint" and "prior to the event" enterprise.
The above points outline management's role in the consultative process, but the representatives
themselves must be proactive in promoting and encouraging a health and safety culture amongst their
colleagues.
To do this, they must keep themselves informed of developments in health and safety, encourage
cooperation between employees and the employer in the promotion of any measures designed to improve
health and safety in the workplace and above all lead by example.
4.9 Contribution of the Safety Representatives and Safety Committee Members.
We outlined the duties of the safety representative and safety committee member earlier in the study unit,
but how can you quantify their contribution to the management of health and safety in their organisation?
Each of them is concerned with similar problems in the workplace:

Health.
Safety.
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4.9 Contribution of the Safety Representatives and Safety Committee Members.

Welfare.

The working environment.


Each safety representative and committee member must have some knowledge of current legislation on
health, safety and welfare, and be aware of the relevant standards relating to such matters as noise,
machine guarding, display screen equipment, manual handling, lighting, cleanliness and maintenance,
heating, canteen and toilet facilities, etc.
The safety representative is probably better informed on these matters than the average safety committee
member, and has a proactive role in representing the day-to-day interests of his members.
The safety committee member has more of a reactive role in that he/she responds to incidents, accidents,
and reported problems usually some time after the event. The safety committee member probably attends
meetings of the committee on a monthly or even quarterly basis, during which he/she will examine incident
and accident reports, hazard reports arising from safety inspections and the results of investigations into
accidents and dangerous occurrences. Other issues, such as results of tests for noise, toxicity, etc, may
also be examined and discussed.
Very often, the company safety policy arrangements will include instructions to be followed by employees
who wish to complain about some aspect of health and safety. Bear in mind that the safety committee is a
forum for discussion and for the resolution of problems on which the safety representative has failed to
reach agreement with line management.
The normal chain of events would be as follows:

(a) Employee complains to line management - problem remains unresolved.


(b) Safety representative complains to line management on employee's behalf - problem remains
unresolved.
(c) Matter is referred to the safety committee:
o Matter resolved - no further action.
o Matter unresolved - referred to senior management by resolution of committee.

The safety policy will also advise that urgent health and safety matters must not be delayed until the next
meeting of the safety committee but referred immediately to senior management by the safety
representative.
It is clear from these arrangements that the safety representative and safety committee member have
complementary roles which, if followed correctly, play a very effective part in the good health and safety
management of any organisation.
5.0 Provision of Information & Development of Information Systems.
INTRODUCTION.
In this section, we will examine some of the requirements and obligations for the provision of information by
employers and manufacturers to employees and users.
Most ILO Member Nations have legislation which places general duties on designers, manufacturers,
importers or suppliers of articles and substances used at work. This duty includes the need to provide
information about the need to take such steps as necessary to ensure that those who are supplied with the
article or substances are provided with adequate information about the use for which the article is designed
or has been tested.
R164 Occupational Safety and Health Recommendation, 1981 places a requirement on member
Nations:
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5.0 Provision of Information & Development of Information Systems.


15.(2) Employers should be required to keep such records relevant to occupational safety and health and
the working environment as are considered necessary by the competent authority or authorities; these
might include records of all notifiable occupational accidents and injuries to health which arise in the course
of or in connection with work, records of authorisation and exemptions under laws or regulations to
supervision of the health of workers in the undertaking, and data concerning exposure to specified
substances and agents.
ORIGIN OF THE INFORMATION PRINCIPLE/
We touched briefly on this important subject earlier when we looked at Section 2 of the HSWA 1974. It is
the origin of the information principle from which all subsequent statutory information requirements stem,
and is worth repeating here:
Section 2:
1. It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health,
safety and welfare at work of all his employees.
2. Without prejudice to the generality of an employer's duty under the preceding subsection, the
matters to which that duty extends include in particular: the provision of such information,
instructions, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable,
the health and safety at work of his employees.
3. It shall be the duty of every employer to prepare, a written statement of his general policy, and to
bring the statement and any revisions of it to the notice of all of his employees."
You will see, as we progress through this study unit, that the obligation to provide information is almost
multi-directional. Employers must obviously provide it to employees, but what about contractors, visitors,
customers, temporary workers, etc? What form should such "information" take? The language in which it is
printed assumes great importance in a multi-ethnic workforce.
Advice in the Code of Practice accompanying the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations
1999 emphasises the need for comprehensible information capable of being understood by the employees
to whom it is addressed.
It almost goes without saying that there is little point in having a safe system of work, safe machinery and
safe management policies unless management or the employer provides the workforce, contractors and
visitors with the necessary information to continue to operate safely in the working environment.
There are therefore a considerable number of statutory obligations concerned with the provision of safety
information. Not all the obligations are concerned with the employer's duties. The provision of information is
a complex problem, and as it has featured in examinations,it is worth looking at in some detail. It is best for
us to look at it in terms of specific legislation: who must provide it, for what purpose, and to whom it is to be
conveyed.
5.1 Tabulation of Statutory Regulations.
In order to examine the information requirements, we have tabulated the relevant statutory
regulations here for ease of reference.
Regulation

Duty placed upon: To supply information to:

Health and
Safety at Work Employers
etc. Act 1974

Employees: Adequate, so far as is reasonably


practicable, to ensure their health and safety at work.
Employees: Absolute duty, if 5 or more employed, to

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5.1 Tabulation of Statutory Regulations.


Employers

Employers

prepare written safety policy and to bring it, and any


revision of it, to the notice of employees.
Safety representatives: To consult with safety
representatives concerning arrangements allowing
effective cooperation over measures ensuring health
and safety at the workplace.

Employers and the Non-employees: To provide information to nonself-employed


employees in cases which have yet to be prescribed.

As amended
by
Consumer
Protection Act

Persons in control
of premises

Non-employees: To supply information to nonemployees concerning safe access to and egress


from premises.

HSE inspector

Employees: Must disclose information to employees


or their appointed representatives if necessary to
keep them informed about matters affecting their
health and safety at work. The inspector must not
disclose information otherwise, except to take out
legal proceedings arising from an accident.

Employment
medical advisory
service (EMAS)

Employers, employees and their representatives and


those seeking training or employment, advice on
matters concerning safeguarding and improving the
health of employed persons and those seeking
employment and training.

Designers,
manufacturers,
suppliers and
importers.

Users: To provide information to users concerning the


safe use of articles and substances at work.

Any person

A local authority inspector, regarding any information


relevant to any examination or investigation.

Any person

A local authority inspector, on the understanding that


the information supplied will be inadmissible evidence
against the person supplying.

Any person

HSE or any enforcing authority, when HSE request


with the consent of the Secretary of State for
Education and Employment.

Amendments made by the Consumer Protection Act 1987 to HSWA 1974:


5.2 Tabulation of Statutory Regulations (cont'd).
"(1) It shall be the duty of any person who designs, manufactures, imports or supplies any article
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5.2 Tabulation of Statutory Regulations (cont'd).


for use at work or any article of fairground equipment:
(c) to take such steps as are necessary to secure that persons supplied by that person with the article are
provided with adequate information about the use for which the article is designed or has been tested, and
about any conditions necessary to ensure that it will be safe and without risks to health at all such times as
are mentioned in paragraph (a) above and when it is being dismantled or disposed of, and
(d) to take such steps as are necessary to secure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons so
supplied are provided with all such revisions of information provided to them by virtue of the preceding
paragraph as are necessary by reason of its becoming known that anything gives rise to a serious risk to
health or safety.
(IA) It shall he the duty of any person who designs, manufactures, imports or supplies any article of
fairground equipment:
(c) to take such steps as are necessary to secure that persons supplied by that person with the article are
provided with adequate information about the use for which the article is designed or has been tested, and
about any conditions necessary to ensure that it will be safe and without risks to health at all times when it
is being used for or in connection with the entertainment of members of the public; and (d) to take such
steps as are necessary to secure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons so supplied are
provided with all such revisions of information provided to them and by virtue of the preceding paragraph as
are necessary by reason of its becoming known that anything gives rise to a serious risk to health or safety.
(4) (c) To take such steps as are necessary to secure that persons supplied by that person with the
substance are provided with adequate information about any risks to health and safety to which the
inherent properties of the substance may give rise, about the results of any relevant tests which have been
carried out on or in connection with the substance and about any conditions necessary to ensure that the
substance will be safe and without risks to health at all times as are mentioned in paragraph (a) above and
when the substance is being disposed of; and#
(d) To take such steps as are necessary to secure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons so
supplied are provided with all such revisions of information provided to them by virtue of the preceding
paragraph as are necessary by reason of its becoming known that anything gives rise to a serious risk to
health or safety."
5.3 Tabulation of Statutory Regulations (cont'd).
In order to examine the information requirements, we have tabulated the relevant statutory regulations here
for ease of reference.
Regulation

Safety Reps. and Safety


Comms. Regulations
1977.

Duty placed
upon:

To supply infomration to:


Representatives: To allow the representative
to inspect and take copies of any document
kept by statutory provision except where it
relates to the health record of an identifiable
individual. Also, information necessary for
representatives to
carry out their functions, except where:

Disclosure is against interests of


national security.
Disclosure contravenes prohibition
imposed by an enactment.
Information relates to an individual,
unless he consents.

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5.3 Tabulation of Statutory Regulations (cont'd).

Employer

Control of Lead at Work


Employer
Regulations 1998.

Disclosure, except for its effect on


health and safety, would cause
"substantial" injury to the undertaking.
The information is to prosecute or
defend a legal proceeding.

Employees who may be exposed to lead,


concerning the risks involved.
Employees involved in assessment, cleaning,
use or maintenance of control measures and
air monitoring concerning the risks involved.

Employer

Keep information concerning health hazards.


General and specific control measures. Use of
measures. Significance of air and biological
monitoring. Medical surveillance. Use of
Personal Protective Equipment. Cleanliness
and personal hygiene. Medical examinations
and testing. Requirement to report defect in
control measures.

Employer

New employees by way of leaflet "Lead &


You".

Health and Safety (First


Employer
Aid) Regulations 1981.

Employees: On the arrangements that have


been made in connection with the provision of
first aid including the names of personnel and
locations of facilities and equipment.

Hazardous
Installations:
Notification of Installs.
Site Operator
Handling Haz.
Subs.Regulations 1982.

To notify the HSE (3 months' notice) in writing


of intention to carry on activities involving a
notifiable quantity of a hazardous substance.

As above in the case of pipelines carrying a


notifiable quantity of a hazardous substance.
Tables of notifiable quantities are contained in
the Regulations.

Installation
Operator

Examples:
Sites:
Liquefied Petroleum Gas at a pressure greater
than 1.4 bar 25 tonnes.
At a pressure less than 1.4 50 tonnes
Hydrogen 2 tonnes
Ammonia 100 tonnes
Pipelines:
Gas flammable in air 15 tonnes

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5.3 Tabulation of Statutory Regulations (cont'd).


Liquefied gas flammable in air 50 tonnes

Manufacturer

To provide those working on the site with


information, training and equipment and, if
necessary, to document these.

Manufacturer

To provide the local authority with information


relating to the industrial activity including
nature, extent and likely effects off-site of a
possible major accident.

Local authority

To provide the manufacturer with certain


information from the off-site emergency plan.

Manufacturer

(a) To provide persons outside the site


who are likely to be affected by a major
accident with information on how the
effect of such accident may he limited.
(b) To make such information publicly
available.

Employees:
Control of Asbestos at
Employer
Work Regulations 2012.

Dangerous Substances
in Harbour Areas
Employer
Regulations 1987.

Employer/Selfemployed

Operator

Health and Safety


Information for
Employer
Employees Regulations
1989 (as Amended).

Employer

(a) Those at risk so that they are aware


of risks and necessary precautions.
(b) Those who carry out work in
connection with employer's duties.

Employees: To ensure their health and safety


and enable them to perform any operations in
which they are involved with due regard to the
health and safety of others.
To ensure that they have information
concerning their health and safety and that of
others.
Other employers/self-employed
persons/others with the necessary information
to ensure their health and safety and that of
others whilst present on the berth.
To provide employees with either:

(a) The approved poster, or


(b) The approved leaflet (individually).

To provide employees by means of poster


or leaflet with details of:

(a) The name and address of the

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5.3 Tabulation of Statutory Regulations (cont'd).

enforcing authority for the premises;


and
(b) The address of the employment
medical adviser for the area in which
premises are situated.

To provide any employee likely to be


exposed to first or peak action levels with
adequate information on:
Noise at Work
Regulations 1989 (as
Amended) ( The Control Employer
of Noise at Work
Regulations 2005).

(a) Risk of damage to hearing.


(b) Steps to be taken to minimise risk.
(c) How to obtain personal ear
protection.
(d) The employer's obligation under the
Regulations.

Employees' obligations are:

Designers,
suppliers,
manufacturers,
importers

To use ear protection equipment.


Report any defects to the employer.

To provide information to users on the level of


noise likely to be produced and measures to
be taken to minimise exposure where noise
levels are likely to exceed prescribed limits.

Amendments made by the Consumer Protection Act 1987 to HSWA 1974:


5.4 Tabulation of Statutory Regulations (cont'd).
The Noise at Work Regulations 2005 require a noise assessment to be carried out where exposure to noise
is likely to exceed the first action level of 80 dB(A).
Where exposure is likely to be at or exceed the second action level (85 dB(A)), an employer must ensure
that exposure is reduced to the lowest reasonably practicable level other than by provision of PPE.
Regulation 12 extends a duty to designers, manufacturers, suppliers and importers, requiring them to
provide adequate information about the noise likely to be produced and measures necessary to minimise
exposure wherever articles supplied are likely to exceed the prescribed limits. The Approved Code of
Practice, which accompanies the Regulations, suggests that safety representatives should receive
information and/or training about records, surveys and the relative importance of information and records. It
recommends that exposure records are kept in a form intelligible to those likely to be exposed.
The Approved Code of Practice also lists the type of information which should be disclosed, e.g.
information relating to:

The hazard.
The reason for the nature of the general control measures.
The specific control measures necessary in relation to each employee's job.
The arrangements necessary for reporting defects.
The legal duty to wear ear protection.
How to use such protectors, and their care and maintenance and.

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5.4 Tabulation of Statutory Regulations (cont'd).

Employees' duties.

The Noise at Work Regulations 2005 will be covered in greater detail within unit B7.
Regulation

Duty placed
upon:

To supply information to:

Pressure Systems
Safety Regulations
2000.

Employer/Selfemployed

Other employers/self-employed/others
concerning modification or repair immediately
after modification or repair is carried out.

User concerning design, construction,


Designer/Supplier examination, operation and maintenance of the
design or of the pressure system/article.
Packaging of
Explosives for
Employer/SelfCarriage Regulations employed
1991.

Employers/self-employed/others regarding the


marking of all packages of explosives of nett
mass not exceeding 400kg with the UN mark
allocated for that design type of packaging by
the competent authority.
Employees who are "users" information on:

Health and Safety


(Display Screen
Equipment)
Regulations 1992.

Employer

(a) All aspects of health and safety


relating to their workstation;
(b) Measures taken to comply with
Regulations 2 (risk assessment), 3
(workstations), 4 (breaks), 5 (eyes and
eyesight) and 6 (training).

Users employed by other employers and


operators at work in his undertaking
information on:
Employer

(a) All aspects of health and safety


relating to their workstation;
(b) Measures taken to comply with
Regulations 2 and 3 for "users" only;
Regulations 4 and 6(2) (training when
workstation modified).

Employees: Adequate health and safety


information including, where appropriate,
written instructions pertaining to use,
including:
Provision and Use of Employer
Work Equipment
Regulations 1998.

(a) Conditions and methods of use.


(b) Abnormal situations
(c) Conclusions drawn from
exp.erience if necessary to help
prevent access to dangerous parts of

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5.4 Tabulation of Statutory Regulations (cont'd).


machinery.
Other workers: Adequate information
including written instructions re use
including:
Employer/Selfemployed

Manual Handling
Operations 1992.

Employer

(a) Conditions and methods of use


(b) Abnormal situations
(c) Conclusions drawn from experience
if necessary to help prevent access to
dangerous parts of machinery

Employees involved in manual handling


operations with general indications and, if
possible, precise information on the weight of a
load and heaviest side where centre of gravity
is not centrally positioned.
Employees:

Management of Health
Employer/Selfand Safety at Work
employed
Regulations 1999.

(a) Risks identified by the assessment.


(b) Preventive and protective
measures:

Procedures in event of serious and


imminent danger.
Competent persons for evacuation.
Risks notified by other employers.
Other workers:

(a) Risks to health and safety arising


from undertaking.
(b) To enable them to identify
competent persons for evacuation.
(c) Any special skills required for safe
working.
(d) Any requirement for health
surveillance.

Other employers/self-employed/others:

(a) Risks to health and safety arising


from the undertaking.
(b) Compliance measures.
(c) To enable them to identify
competent persons for evacuation.(d)
Any special skills required for safe
working.
(e) Specific features of jobs in relation
to health and safety.

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5.4 Tabulation of Statutory Regulations (cont'd).

Personal Protective
Equipment
Regulations 2002.

Employees: Such information as is


adequate and appropriate on:
Employer

Chemicals (Hazard
Employer/SelfInfo. & Packaging for
employed
Supply) Regulations
2002 (as Amended).

(a) Risks PPE will avoid or limit.


(b) Purpose and manner of use.
(c) Action to be taken by employee.

Employees with information provided by the


supplier of dangerous chemicals to the
employer/self-employed.

Control of Substances
Hazardous to Health
Employer
Regulations 2002 (as
Amended).

To keep a record of any monitoring carried out


for 30 years after it was made. Again this
information must be disclosed.

Employer

Health and surveillance records must be kept


for 50 years and employees must be allowed
access to records which relate to them directly.
Must provide information, instruction and
training where work may expose employees to
substances harmful to health.
This must be adequate for the employees
to know:

Employer

(a) The nature of the substance and its


risk to health;
(b) The precautions to be taken.

In particular, where the HSE has a "control


limit" for the substance, information must be
given if monitoring shows it to have been
exceeded. Information on the collective results
of health surveillance must also be disclosed.
5.5 Tabulation of Statutory Regulations (cont'd).
Again COSHH, in Regulation 6.1, stresses the role of an assessment wherever the risk of hazardous
exposure may be present, and requires that the person carrying out the assessment receives adequate
information, instruction and training - the whole emphasis being upon an informed judgement reached
before control measures are determined. The result of the assessment should be available to employees or
their representatives.
The accompanying Approved Code of Practice suggests that information relating to control measures and
air monitoring be readily retrievable in an easily understandable form, and kept, where possible, at the
workplace available for inspection by employees and their representatives.
It also outlines the type of information which should be disclosed under Regulation 12.

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5.5 Tabulation of Statutory Regulations (cont'd).


This includes:

The identity of substances hazardous to health.


The hazards to health arising from exposure.
The control measures and the reasons for them.
The reasons for personal protective equipment.
Monitoring procedures and access to their results.
Notification if "control limits" are exceeded.
Role of health surveillance; access to records.

Guidance Note EH40 (published annually) contains a list of Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs) in
Schedule I and reflects the work of the Advisory Committee on Toxic Substances (ACTS).
COSHH is further covered in most of the first five B units.
Regulation

The Carriage of Dangerous


Goods and Use of
Transportable Pressure
Equipment Regulations 2004.

Duty placed
upon:

To supply information to:

Employer.

Operator:
(a) To comply with his duties under the
Regulations.
(b) To be aware of the hazards to
health and safety created by the
substance - identity, quantity and
nature of substance.
Operator:
To enable him to comply with his
duties under the Regulations.
To enable him to he aware of the
hazards to health and safety created
by the substance.

Consignor.

Employer/Selfemployed.

(c) To provide him with adequate


information about identity, quantity and
nature of the hazards created by the
substance.
Information to be provided prior to the
journey and kept by the operator for at
least three months after completion of
journey.
Other employers/self-employed/others
prior to the start of the journey:
(a) Classified explosives - the division
and compatibility group of each type of
explosive carried.
(b) The nett mass of each type of
explosive carried.

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5.5 Tabulation of Statutory Regulations (cont'd).


(c) In the case of compatibility groups
c, d or g, whether the explosives
carried are explosive substances or
explosive articles.
(d) The names and addresses of
consignor, operator and consignee.
(e) Enable the driver and attendant to
know the nature of the danger and the
relevant emergency action to be taken.
Health and Safety
(Consultation with Employees) Employer.
Regulations 1996.

(a) Employees directly;


(b) Representatives of employee
safety.

5.6 Further Developments.


We have discussed additional information requirements elsewhere in this unit, in the Health and Safety
(Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996, and in the CDM Regulations, where there is a continuous
cross-fertilisation of information between the various parties involved in a construction project.
In any questions about provision of information, you should remember that wherever there is an obligation
to carry out a risk assessment, there is a corresponding obligation to provide copies of assessment to the
employees involved.
The earlier table shows how the legislators have continued the information principle since 1974, and how
the requirement has become more specific. Section 2 of the 1974 Act simply states that the employer must
provide his employees with such information as is necessary "to ensure their health and safety". Regulation
10 of the 1999 Management Regulations is much more precise:
"Every employer shall provide his employees with comprehensive and relevant information on:

(a) The risk to their health and safety identified by the assessment.
(b) The preventive and protective measures.
(c) Te procedures referred to in Regulation 8(1)(a) (Evacuation).
(d) The identity of those persons nominated by him in accordance with Regulation 8(1)(b) (Persons
nominated as competent to implement emergency procedures); and
(e) The risks notified to him in accordance with Regulation 11(1)(c) (Cooperation and coordination)."

The accompanying Code of Practice underlines the need, in a multi-ethnic society, for comprehensible
information, "capable of being understood by the employees to whom it is addressed".
The information should take account of the employees' language difficulties or disabilities which may
impede their understanding, e.g. those with little or no English comprehension or reading skills will need
special consideration and arrangements, such as written and spoken translations.
The Management Regulations also state that an employer, under Regulation 10, will provide "to the
employer of an outside undertaking" who is working on his premises, comprehensible information
concerning risks to health and safety of his employees arising out of or in connection with the firstmentioned employer's operation.
Again, the Code of Practice explains this obligation to "visiting" contractors or specialists brought in to the
premises to carry out work. Obviously, in such cases there should be a mutual exchange of health and
safety information based on risk assessments. Young persons in employment are entitled, as are all
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5.6 Further Developments.


employees, to comprehensible and relevant information regarding their health and safety at work. The
Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999 require a separate risk assessment for children and
young persons at work because of their inexperience, immaturity and lack of awareness of risk to health
and safety.
The risk assessment must specifically consider whether the work is beyond the young person's physical or
psychological capacity, and whether he/she will he exposed to toxic or carcinogenic substances or
substances causing harm to unborn children or causing a chronic health effect, exposure to noise, vibration
or extremes of temperature.
Young persons can only be employed under those conditions when they are under training, supervised by
a competent person and the risk is reduced to the lowest reasonably practical level. As well as informing
the young person of the detailed risk assessment, in the case of a child his/her parents (or guardians) must
be provided with comprehensible and relevant information about risks to the child's health and safety and of
the measures taken to prevent or control them.
It is as well to note that in general terms, where duties of employees go beyond the specific, additional
measures are needed to comply fully with MHSWR.
The information requirement was also specifically included in the following two Regulations:
Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992: These Regulations require employers to
provide information under Regulation 7 as follows.
Every employer shall ensure that operators and users at work in the undertaking are provided with
adequate information about:

All aspects of health and safety relating to their workstations.


Such measures taken by him in compliance with his duties under regulations relating to risk
assessment and compliance of workstations with statutory requirements.
Such measures by him in compliance with his duties relating to daily work routines and
modifications to workstations.
Such measures taken by him in compliance with his duties relating to eye-tests and provision of
training.

The Guidance Note states that the information should include reminders about furniture, lighting and
training.
Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992:
These Regulations require employers to provide information under Regulation 9 as follows:
Where an employer is required to ensure that personal protective equipment is provided to an employee,
the employer shall also ensure that the employee is provided with such information, instructions and
training as is adequate and appropriate to enable the employee to know:

The risk or risks which the personal protective equipment will avoid or limit.
The purpose for which and the manner in which personal protective equipment is to be used.
Any action to be taken by the employee to ensure that the personal protective equipment remains in
an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.

The information and instruction provided shall not be adequate and appropriate unless it is comprehensible
to the persons to whom it is provided.
There is no doubt that successive Directives and Regulations will continue to restate the requirement for
the provision of information.
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5.7 Management Information Systems in the Workplace.


One of the early criticisms of safety management at the time of the Robens enquiry was that employers
complied with information requirements by exhibiting in the workplace closely-printed copies of, or extracts
from, factory legislation which, even if legible, were almost completely incomprehensible to the employee.
The Management Regulations, as we now know, specifically addressed the point by emphasising that
information must be relevant and capable of being understood even to the extent of providing the
information, if necessary ,in a number of languages.
As you saw from the tables earlier in this study unit, an enormous amount of information is generated from
a number of sources and has to be disseminated to a variety of end-users. It also has to be made available
for reference purposes by management, and for inspection purposes by HSE inspectors, safety
representatives, and other interested parties.
There is an obvious need, therefore, for a management information system in the workplace. Later in this
unit we will look at Communication as one of the four elements in establishing a positive health and safety
culture and identify a number of standards. Four of these standards form the basis of sound information
management:
The collection of information from external sources.
The documentation of policy, organisation statements, performance standards, rules and procedures (this
would include risk assessments, audit, inspection, test results, and accident statistics, etc.)

Provision of systems for cascading information.


Use of posters, bulletins, newspapers, etc.

The starting point in the development of the system, ideally, is to appoint someone with the professional
competence to manage it. In many organisations this might be an existing manager, or it may be a
dedicated safety professional.
Whoever he/she is, the safety manager must keep abreast of developments in legislation and current
practice through membership of a professional association(s) and arrange for the collection and systematic
documentation of relevant developments in health and safety.
He/she will most certainly subscribe to a number of professional publications and attend courses and
seminars to maintain "continuing professional development" status. He/she will also be responsible for the
collection and documentation of internal health and safety information, the safety policy, risk assessments,
test results, accident reports and statistics, and health surveillance.
He/she must be able to interpret legislation, manufacturers' instructions and a variety of other technical or
semi-legal documents and translate them into "relevant and comprehensible" information as required by the
Management Regulations. The information collected, both externally and internally, must then be used, like
any other intelligence, as a management tool for the efficient running of the organisation.
By reference to Figure 4.1 and Table 4.1 below, it is possible to see how external and internal health and
safety materials are combined, processed and turned into user-friendly information for use by company
employees and contractors, visitors, customers, etc.

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5.7 Management Information Systems in the Workplace.

Figure 4.1.
Health and safety information thus derived can be assimilated into the organisation and held centrally. The
relevant portions can then be redistributed throughout the organisation, or to those departments which have
a specific requirement.
Information can be filed manually or stored electronically for ease of retrieval and copying.
EXTERNAL INFORMATION SOURCES

ILO.
OSHA.
EU Directives.
UK Legislation.
ACOPS.
HSE Guidance Notes.
Case law.
British Standards.
Manufacturers.
HSE, IOSH,BSC.

INTERNAL INFORMATION SOURCES

H & S Policy.
H & S Arrangements.
H & S Manual.
Risk assessments.
Test results:.
Noise.
Dust.
Lighting.
Atmospheric, etc.
Job descriptions.
Job safety analyses.
Accident reports.
Accident statistics.

Health and safety information thus derived can be assimilated into the organisation and held centrally. The
relevant portions can then be redistributed throughout the organisation, or to those departments which have
a specific requirement.
Information can be filed manually or stored electronically for ease of retrieval and copying.
5.8 Management Information Systems in the Workplace (cont'd).

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5.8 Management Information Systems in the Workplace (cont'd).


Buildings/Plant

Fixtures/Fittings/Equipment Risk Assessments

Fabric.
Ventilation.
Air conditioning.
Heating/temperature.
Boilers.
Electrical installations.
Lighting.
Emergency lighting.
Fire/security alarms.
Lifts.
Water services.
Washing/sanitary
facilities.
Rest rooms.
Canteen/restaurant.
Access/egress.

H&S Records

Computers/copiers.
Telephones/fax
machines.
Portable electrical
appliances.
Fire extinguishers.
Photocopiers.
Shredders.
Vending machines.
Franking machines.
Chairs.
Desks.
Filing cabinets.
Carpets.

H&S Training

H & S Policy.
DSE Policy.
Accident policy.
Investigation.
Prevention.
Reporting.
Statistics.
Ratios.
Competent persons.
Fire marshals.
Evacuation personnel.
First aid.
Safety representatives.
Safety committee
members.
Safety committee
minutes.
Cost data.
Injury lost time.
First aid.
Property damage.
Lost production.
Consequential losses.

Induction.
Risk assessments.
PPE.
Manual handling.
Supervisors.
Tool-box talks.
Competent persons.
Fire marshals.
Evacuation personnel.
First aid.

MHOR.
PPE.
DSE.
Noise.
COSHH.
Asbestos.
Audit/inspection
results.
Compliance
requirements.

Occupatioanl Health

Pre-employment
medicals.
DSE eye testing.
Health surveillance.
RIDDOR.
Ill-health records.

5.9 Management Information Systems in the Workplace (cont'd).


The information contained in the health and safety records enables management to evaluate the
organisation's performance both internally and externally.
Internally, departmental accident records can illustrate where perhaps safe systems of work are needed or,
if present, are not working efficiently - highlighting either lack of training or lack of supervision. The
organisation's entire accident record can be broken down into weekly, monthly and annual statistics to
determine if time of year or location (departmentally) has any hearing on accident causation. The
organisation's annual statistics can be compared with those published annually by the HSE to give some
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5.9 Management Information Systems in the Workplace (cont'd).


indication of performance within a particular industry or against the national accident figure.
As we noted earlier, information is a management tool which, when used correctly, enables the
organisation to manage its affairs efficiently. Its availability has several constraints placed upon it and you
must relate it to what you have learnt throughout this course.
How much of it is confidential?
Think of the amount and type of information obtained about employees - medical information, health
assessments, pre-employment medical screenings, appraisal reports, sickness absences, both short and
long term - how much of this is confidential, how much of it may be disclosed, and to whom?
The safety practitioner has a responsibility to the employee and the employer -on the one hand to preserve
confidentiality of personal information, and on the other to look after the best interests of the employing
organisation. This can be a source of conflict.
Health records, of course, are confidential between patient and practitioner and this should be the basis for
managing any information of a personal or medical nature. The safety practitioner may, however, use
information and statistics to carry out the effective management of health and safety, provided the use of
such information does not identify particular individuals. Where, for example, the practitioner has a need to
impart confidential information about an employee to the employer, he/she should obtain the employee's
consent in writing and there should be strict rules concerning to whom exactly the information is to be
disclosed.
How much of it is the HSE inspector entitled to access?
If you look back at previous information, you will see that the inspector has wide-ranging powers to obtain
information from employers and employees, but note the constraints regarding confidentiality imposed by
Section 28 of the 1974 Act.
Can the safety representative inspect accident reports?
You will remember from previous information that under Regulation 7 of the Safety Representatives and
Safety Committees Regulations 1977, the employer must make certain information available to the safety
representative to enable him/her to carry out his/her role efficiently. This could include access to
information contained in accident reports.
Can the safety representative look at medical records?
This, as mentioned above, is subject to there being no breach of confidentiality between employee and
medical practitioner. In practice, the safety representative would have very limited access to medical
records, and would be restricted to looking at medical statistics and trends only.
How long must records be kept?
Medical records associated with exposure to dangerous substances must be kept for at least 40 years in
the case of asbestos and 50 years in the case of ionising radiation.
5.10 Summary.
You have now reached the end of Organisational factors. It contains a considerable amount of information
which at first glance appears impossible to assimilate. A positive approach to the assignments, intelligent
use of feed-back from the tutors, and a programme of structured revision should see you through.
6.0 Health & Safety Culture & Climate.
The aim of this study unit is to provide you with knowledge and understanding of health and safety
culture.

What is it?
Can it be measured?

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6.0 Health & Safety Culture & Climate.

Can it be improved?

If it exists within an organisation, how can it be preserved and prevented from deteriorating and How
important is it in managing the organisation's health and safety performance?
Organisational culture has been described as the objective characteristics of an organisation - the structure
of an organisation, the roles and rules, the degree of delegation of authority or the degree of specialisation
that can be observed or inferred by an outside observer.
Objectives.
When you have completed this study unit, you should be able to:

Define the concept of 'culture'.


Understand the significance of a health and safety culture in health and safety management.
Identify ways that tangible indicators of the health and safety culture of an organisation can be
measured.
Odentify factors that help promote a positive and negative health and safety culture.

WHAT IS CULTURE?
Health and Safety Culture.

A system of ideals, values, beliefs, knowledge and customs transmitted from generation to
generation within a social group, community or society.
The way of life of a society, including codes of conduct, dress, language, rituals, norms of behaviour
and systems of belief.
A system of shared values and beliefs.

'Culture', then, is not a difficult concept in itself.


In your studies, you will have looked at organisations and discovered that they have a 'formal' and an
'informal' element to them, and that a knowledge of the informal rules is just as important as the formal in
order to make the operation run effectively. In the same way, a new employee has to assimilate the culture
of his new company in order to function effectively.
How we recognise and acquire a new culture depends on individual perception. The process of
'enculturation' is the formal and informal acquisition of cultural norms and practices, a socialisation process
usually engendered by membership of a particular group or organisation.
Having acquired a working definition of culture in its broadest sense, we need to move on to the concept of
safety culture. If you look back at our three definitions, you will see that they mention 'system of ideals',
'systems of belief', and 'way of life'. If those ideals, beliefs and the way of life can be stretched to include
values related to health and safety, we have the basis of a health and safety culture.
6.1 Health and Safety Culture.
Definition.
"A system of shared values and beliefs about the importance of health and safety in the workplace."
This is a good working definition which can be worked into any discussion about health and safety culture.
There is no mystique about it. It is simply a positive attitude to safety which pervades the whole
organisation from top to bottom, and has become a norm of behaviour for every member of staff from the
board of directors down to the newest junior.
Health and safety culture can be identified, measured, improved, and if neglected, allowed to deteriorate. It
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6.1 Health and Safety Culture.


is of paramount importance in the prevention of accidents in any organisation. Our voluminous health and
safety legislation and rulebooks are of comparatively little value in a workplace where there is a poor safety
culture. The safety practitioner must be able to look at an organisation and put his finger on the pulse of its
safety culture. If the pulse is strong, he simply needs to sustain and maintain it; if it is thready or weak, he
needs to nurture it.
Cultural Indicators and Safety Performance.
We have already referred to these in the introduction to this study unit. If organisational culture is the
"objective characteristics of an organisation", then safety culture is the objective safety characteristics of an
organisation.
You should have downloaded the HSE's leaflet "Advice to Employers" http://www.hse.gov.uk/opsunit/perfmeas.pdf. This contains a checklist to be used in writing or reviewing
safety policies. If you refer to it now, you will see that it is actually a useful test of safety culture (but by no
means the only one). Affirmative answers to the questions posed would indicate the existence of a sound,
positive safety culture. Blank or negative responses would indicate the opposite.
Checklists apart, there are many other objective safety characteristics in any organisation - accident
figures, good or bad staff relationships, the wearing of PPE, the presence of warning notices throughout the
premises or site, the registration of visitors - the list is considerable. For example, statements made by
employees are often good indicators of the prevailing culture:
Negative:

That's not my responsibility.


That's the way we've always done it here.

Positive:

We pride ourselves on maintaining a good safety record.


We put safety before productivity.
We have never had a major accident.

It is quite easy to identify a correlation between cultural indicators and safety performance. When an
experienced safety practitioner carries out a safety audit or inspection of a company, he can often gauge
the standard of safety performance on a fairly superficial walk-round and the first impressions he has
gained. When he has completed his detailed audit/inspection, it will - in most cases - confirm his initial
reaction.
6.2 Case Study.
Read the following articles carefully - one is taken from "Energy World" and the other is a newspaper
article.
The oil and gas industry ("Energy World" - 19 December 1996)
The offshore oil and gas industry has been shaken by a new book on offshore safety and industrial
relations in the wake of the 1988 Piper Alpha disaster in the North Sea, and the leaking of a confidential
report on platform conditions, Bob Gibb reports.
Since the Piper Alpha Disaster, oil companies claim to have spent some 5bn on safety improvements.
This raises the question - just what sort of condition were these platforms in that this kind of money had to
be spent?
"Furthermore, with the squeeze once again being put on contracting companies, to what sort of condition
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6.2 Case Study.


will platforms be allowed to deteriorate to in the future?" These are the words of Piper Alpha survivor Bob
Ballantyne in his foreword to 'Paying for Piper - Capital and Labour in Britain's Offshore Industry' by Charles
Woolfson of the University of Glasgow.
This new book, as well as the leaked report which probed safety standards on the Shell UK Exploration and
Production Brent Charlie platform, has alarmed the UK offshore oil and gas industry.
The UK Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA) said it was disappointed at the attempts being made at
this juncture to denigrate Lord Cullen's approach and the positive steps taken by the HSE and the industry
to improve offshore safety.
Dr Woolfson and his colleagues maintain that the industry is going too far in its interpretation of the
recommendations on offshore safety. He said: "Lord Cullen presented the industry with a challenge. The
basis for the new regime was to be self-regulation. The problem is that within the current political and
economic context of cost reduction, it is very easy to slide from self-regulation to outright deregulation. That
is where I believe the industry is heading today."
The authors commend the work of the HSE's Offshore Safety Division, saying it is trying to establish a
regime of regulation that will protect the health and safety of the workforce. But they regret that a
constellation of political forces is undermining the regulators' role.
The book also takes issue with what it describes as the oil and gas industry's determination to exclude
trade unions from any say in the safety culture.
It says: "In the battle to establish managerial control, safety was no less important. Managements quickly
realised the collective penalties of failure - and the opportunities to be gained by seizing the initiative.
Safety had to become basic to the industry's culture. And it had to be management, and no-one else, that
took prime responsibility for changing the safety environment." The authors point out that Lord Cullen was
aware that an integrated safety culture was not a simple matter of exhortation or management mission
statements.
But they add that the problem with the type of safety culture espoused by the oil companies is that the limits
were very carefully defined in both theory and practice. "It excluded the real-life inconsistencies and
contradictions that arose between management and shop floor."
The academics discuss the innovative concept of the offshore safety culture, with the stress on
involvement, explanation and understanding.
They examined research undertaken by British Petroleum, and note how key offshore contractors are
propounding a coherent programme of organisational culture to secure workforce involvement,
accompanied by intensive management re-education and detailed psychometric employee selection
procedures.
And they claim: "There can be no doubt about the formal success of this initiative. It profoundly modified
management practice and at the same time as marginalising trade union interventions on safety, it has
placed management securely in command of the safety agenda".
Despite the efforts of the industry, the authors caution that "in terms of any long-term effectiveness in
reducing accidents, very considerable doubts remain".
They maintain that this is because the definition of (safety) culture is manifestly artificial - real life
communication is considerably more complex than what is presumed.
The safety climate on the Brent Charlie platform is the report of a study carried out by researchers from the
Robert Gordon University, which appears to show that the drive for cost reduction and increased efficiency
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6.2 Case Study.


and productivity by offshore managers is seen by the workforce on Shell Expros Brent Charlie platform to
be compromising safety.
Two researchers found that there was a lack of belief in management's commitment to safety. Among the
workers' complaints were:

changes had been made to safety rules during the construction.


safety improvements were only made after incidents occurred.
the permit to work system was not operating as it should.
accident statistics were being massaged.
"low visibility" of the offshore installation manager.
double standards in the application of safety regulations by safety advisers and management.

Workers questioned during the study were questioned at random. The researchers also reported that
workforce morale was very low, and this could affect their safety motivation.
In their summary, the researchers concluded: "The overriding issue concerning the participants appeared to
be management being overly focused on productivity and not realising the effect that this pressure has on
lower levels of management and the workforce in general".
Health and Safety Culture
The researchers also questioned supervisors and engineers and both groups expressed concern about the
morale of the workforce.
The report said that: "The factors they thought were reducing morale were late flights on and off the
platform for the night shift, the lack of job security, not enough praise for a job well done and a poor
relationship between senior management and the workforce".
Supervisors questioned accepted that they had an important role to play in ensuring safety but also felt that
they were not solely responsible and that senior management should also contribute. Supervisors also
suggested that the large amount of administrative duties prevented them from getting to their work sites
frequently enough.
The report also raises the possibility of onshore managers putting pressure on workers to compromise
safety without being aware, because they are far removed from the real time activities of doing a job and
are setting ambitious productivity targets.
It also suggests that due to pressures which supervisors feel, they could be hoping that workers will find
short cuts to help them achieve their productivity targets.
Shell Expro has confirmed the report was carried out at its behest, following an unexplained increase in
incident figures on Brent Charlie, compared with other platforms.
The Meat Industry (The Observer)
Over capacity brings fierce price competition between abattoirs, and very low profit margins. Barker
estimates the average net profit for the industry of just 0.3% of turnover. To maintain profits, abattoirs must
maintain a high volume. This means that processing lines have to move at high speed. Abattoir workers are
semi-skilled and poorly paid, earning on average 217.00 per week compared with the average for the
economy as a whole of 351.00.
Many specialist small abattoirs are well-run family businesses. Some of the larger ones that supply
supermarkets, such as Tesco, which has a long-term relationship with just six abattoirs, are well-run. But in
the middle are scores on the verge of financial collapse. Jean Shauul of Manchester University's
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6.2 Case Study.


accounting department, who has studied the meat industry's finances, said: "Many of these abattoirs
resemble the sweatshop in the rag trade".
Martin Palmer, Head of Strategy at the Meat and Livestock Commission, acknowledges that fierce
competition means that abattoirs reap little reward for attention to quality: "Abattoirs operate in a commodity
market. It is difficult to get a price premium for higher quality or safety, because as soon as a scheme is set
up, it is undercut by lower-priced competition".
Slaughtermen share a closed culture that is suspicious of outsiders and resistant to change. A former meat
inspector said: "In many of the larger plants, the view on the line is that it is the inspector's job to check on
the quality of the meat, it's not the operator. If the inspector picks up a problem, it will be addressed, but if
he fails to spot something wrong then no one will point it out."
It is in the inspection system that the greatest failings have been exposed. Between 1988 and April last
year, meat inspection was the responsibility of more than 300 local authorities. It is difficult to get an
accurate picture of how rigorous the inspections were but clearly standards varied widely. In April last year
(1995), the Government set up the Meat Hygiene Service to create a national system of inspection.
According to Peter Soul, the service's head of operations, local authority inspectors were often doing other
jobs and might spend only an hour or so a day or, in some cases, an hour a week inspecting meat.
Serious shortcomings were shown up by spot checks carried out by the State Veterinary Service in
September 1995. The results, tucked away in some Ministry of Agriculture documents, show that 48% of
abattoirs were failing in some respect.
Since March, when the regulations were tightened up after the Government announced evidence of a
possible link between BSE and CJD in humans, 70 meat inspectors have been disciplined and four
dismissed for failing to adhere to the regulations - almost 10% of the red meat inspection workforce.
6.3 Measuring the Indicators.
Attitude Surveys.
We have already noted that the indicators of safety culture are many and various, and while it is possible to
gauge a sense of culture from first impressions and hearsay, it is equally possible, and perhaps more
accurate, to measure attitudes and values by more positive means.
Attitude measurement methods used by sociologists and market researchers are invariably based on Likert
or Guttman scales. These are survey questionnaires containing a battery of statements requiring responses
which indicate agreement or disagreement. Respondents are asked to indicate to what extent or degree
they agree or disagree with each statement, generally using a 5-point scale which can then be coded to
provide a score. High scores represent agreement and low scores disagreement.
Likert and Guttman methods of measurement are fairly sophisticated, and require some training in their
interpretation to be of value to the layman.
On the other hand, it is fairly easy to devise a straightforward questionnaire containing questions about
general health and safety, the responses to which would give some idea of the safety culture within an
organisation. To do this effectively, the questionnaire must be carefully designed to avoid bias, and to
obtain truthful answers, confidentiality is necessary. However, when carried out properly, the results can
reveal underlying anxieties and problems which are difficult to identify by other means.
Care should be taken when carrying out these surveys to ensure that the very act of conducting the survey
does not in itself create suspicion in the minds of employees or additional unnecessary anxiety. Carried out
on a regular basis, attitude surveys can identify trends and it is then possible to quantify how attitudes are
changing.
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6.3 Measuring the Indicators.


Prompt Lists
Prompt lists are similar to attitude surveys, except that lists are used with predetermined answers and the
interviewee is asked to select in some way from these answers.
Again, this is a technique often used in market research, when consumers are asked to decide preferences
between various products. In this way, the questionnaire can be made more specific and it is generally
easier to come to clear conclusions and to process the answers.
However, in carrying out this type of survey, it is important to ensure that the design of questions reflects
real differences rather than an existing bias.
As with attitude surveys, if prompt lists are carried out over a period of time, trends can be identified and
the effects of changes measured.
Findings of Incident Investigations
The primary purpose of an incident investigation is to determine the cause and to ensure that action is
taken to prevent the incident recurring. If, during the investigation of an accident, it is found that the
underlying cause is lack of care, this may perhaps be an indicator of individual carelessness. On the other
hand, if carelessness is found to be a widespread cause of accidents, this may be an indicator of poor
safety culture.
Where the same underlying causes keep recurring, the safety manager has to embark on a process of
education, or re-education, of the workforce in order to effect a change of attitude.
The findings and the lessons learned from incident investigation are invaluable in preventing similar
occurrences, setting policy, formulating safe systems of work, writing training materials and, after
publication to the workforce, demonstrating company commitment to the principles of good safety
management.
6.4 Effective Communication.
According to John E Koontz, an American computer scientist, communication is the transfer of information
from one person to another, with the information being understood by both the sender and the receiver.
In other words, communication is the process through which information, attitudes, ideas and opinions are
sent or received, thereby providing a basis for understanding.
The process requires a sender, a receiver and feedback.
Feedback is essential, as without it there is no real communication, only the act of transmission. Successful
communication is measured by feedback. This enables the sender to test whether, and how well, the
communicated message has been understood.
Communication is important to organisations for a number of reasons:

To bring about change - information passed from one level to another can effect change in the
actions of the receivers, e.g. sales figures - increased orders can influence production levels.
To sustain stability - information from management to shop floor to maintain performance at existing
levels by not changing procedures -"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
To achieve a common purpose - uniting people to achieve common objectives is one of the most
important functions of communication.
To integrate management activities - by linking the levels of the organisation; by linking the sections
and departments to each other; and by ensuring that the various strands and levels of management
are directed to achieving organisational goals.
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6.4 Effective Communication.

To establish links between an organisation and its environment - by creating a two-way flow of
information between the organisation and all sections of its environment - customers, suppliers,
government and community.

Communication methods are written, oral, visual or a combination of all three and theorists argue that there
is no single best method - rather, communication depends on, and should be appropriate to, the
circumstances. Account needs to be taken of the objectives of the communication, the nature of the
information to be communicated, the sophistication of the audience or receivers and, of course, the
structure and culture of the organisation.
To be really effective in any organisation, communication has to be multi-directional. Communication from
management to shop floor, although a legal requirement, is only half effective as it lacks the necessary
element of feedback. In any culture, the transfer of values and norms will only be perpetuated if they are
transmitted to, and accepted by, the incoming cohort. To affect this, the values must be clearly understood
and accepted by all personnel within the organisation.
Communication surveys are a means of judging the actuality or effectiveness of any transfer of information
(including cultural values) to new members of staff. A sample number of comparatively new employees can
be interviewed to identify, for example, how well they have assimilated the company's safety culture, or how
much they have retained from company health and safety training, or perhaps a safety campaign. This can
be done informally or formally. Safety practitioners will often use an informal communication survey to find
out how many people within the organisation are aware of basic safety matters, such as the company
health and safety policy, risk assessments or attitudes towards smoking.
We can summarise effective communications as follows:

Include everyone who should be included.


Address the problem of quantity of information, or load, by either re-designing the organisation to
reduce load at heavily-committed points or introducing a queuing system to deal with the messages
in sequence, giving priority to the more urgent.
Be brief, direct and keep it simple.
Be accurate and precise.
Be fast, but not at the expense of accuracy.
Be selective; send only what is necessary.
Encourage feedback to ensure the message has been received and understood.
Use as few links in the communication chain as possible to avoid distortion.
6.5 Evidence of Individual Commitment.

Commitment has been defined as "a declared attachment to a doctrine or a cause". There is an old joke
which asks the difference between being "interested" and being "committed" about a subject, and uses the
illustration of the difference in attitudes between a chicken and a pig towards a bacon and egg breakfast the chicken is interested in breakfast but the pig is committed!
To expect every employee of any company to have a declared attachment to the doctrines of health and
safety is probably unrealistic, but if you look back at the extract concerning safety on oil rigs, you can see
how a major disaster has focused attention on the need to promote better safety arrangements in a very
dangerous working environment.
The promotion of individual commitment towards health and safety is the goal of every safety practitioner,
and the starting point has to be at management board level. There will only be a belief in the commitment of
management towards safety if it is generally believed that management are prepared to make sacrifices in
terms of productivity or time to ensure the safety of the workforce, i.e. management will not condone short
cuts that compromise safety.
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6.5 Evidence of Individual Commitment.


Again, looking back at the "oil rig" extract, workers complained about management's lack of commitment to
safety. One leading factor in demonstrating management's commitment is management visibility. If
management are never seen on site, then there will be an assumption that management is not interested in
the job and, by implication, health and safety.
Lack of management visibility is perceived as lack of management commitment, and the bad example then
percolates down through the company and becomes part of the culture.
Individual managers must be educated to believe that their commitment to health and safety is of the
utmost importance in setting the tone for the company's attitude to safety, which will be assimilated by
employees as part of their culture. This visible commitment can be demonstrated by management:

being seen and involved with the work, taking an interest and correcting deficiencies.
providing sufficient resources to carry out jobs safely.
ensuring that there are enough people, time and money to carry out the job safely.
providing appropriate personal protective equipment.
ensuring that all personnel are competent to carry out their work.
providing training and supervision.
enforcing the company safety rules and demonstrating their own observance of them.
introducing safe systems of work and insisting on their observance.
matching their actions to their words.
correcting defects as soon as is reasonably practicable, and.
avoiding of double standards.

Lack of individual commitment is only one of a number of negative factors which militates against the
formation of a sound health and safety culture. We shall now look at some of the other major negative
factors.
6.6 Factors Promoting a Positive & Negative Health & Safety Culture & Climate.
Company Reorganisations.
Company reorganisations may originate from a variety of sources - relocations, mergers, redundancies,
downsizing, etc, and where these occur, the management of the organisation needs to treat its staff with
sensitivity. There is legislation covering major redundancies, and compensation arrangements are provided
for by statute. Many companies also offer financial packages which are in excess of the statutory limits.
However, difficulties arise when the retained members of staff have to operate with reduced resources and
manpower, and perhaps in the shadow of further impending redundancies which may affect them
personally.
If companies effect economies by shedding staff, paying the minimum statutory redundancy amounts and
at the same time paying increased dividends to their shareholders and awarding better financial packages
to their directors, it is hardly surprising that the loyalties of remaining staff are going to be severely tested.
Changes occurring as a result of external pressures over which the organisation has little or no control which may include a major change in industry procedures (e.g. the effect of BSE on the meat industry) may not be as damaging as changes brought about by the need to improve profitability.
Frequent company reorganisations, unless handled well, can lead to growing dissatisfaction in the
workforce. In many cases those employees who have the most saleable skills will leave, creating
operational difficulties in an already difficult situation. First-level management may then have additional
burdens placed upon them when they are already concerned about their own future. This, in turn, may
adversely affect the organisation's normal controls and practices, leading to a greater number of incidents
and accidents. This is often accompanied by an increased level of sickness and absences from
undetermined causes.
Lack of Confidence in Organisation's Objectives and Methods.
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6.6 Factors Promoting a Positive & Negative Health & Safety Culture & Climate.

Most companies will have objectives in terms of safety and productivity, including a company safety policy
outlining the organisation's commitment to health and safety. However, if in fact productivity is seen to be
pre-eminent over safety, then worker perception will inevitably be that the company is unethical and
untrustworthy in its operations, thus leading to a lack of trust and a deterioration of the safety culture.
Typical of complaints made by off-shore gas and oil workers were:

Changes had been made to safety rules during the construction.


Safety improvements were only made after incidents occurred.
The permit to work system was not operating as it should.
Accident statistics were being massaged.
"Low visibility" of the offshore installation manager.
Double standards in the application of safety regulations by safety advisers and management.

If management and first-line supervisors perceive that the company has an overwhelming drive to achieve
productivity at the expense of safety, they may well adopt the same attitude to demonstrate their
commitment to company objectives. This can have a disastrous effect on the shop floor employees,
affecting safety, morale and motivation.
Uncertainty.
Human beings by nature seek security and stability. Creating an uncertain environment generates feelings
of insecurity. As seen in unit A1, Maslow's hierarchy of needs states that security forms one of the
foundations of the structure. If security is not fully satisfied the rest of the structure is affected (see Figure
1.1).
Need:

Satisfied by:

Physiological

Food, shelter

Safety

Security, freedom from attack

Love and belonging

Social needs, to belong, to be accepted

Self-esteem

To be noticed, to receive acclaim

Self-actualisation

The achievement of one's full potential

Self-actualisation is the goal - the highest need - but is unimportant unless the lower, more basic needs
have been satisfied. They are often represented and best remembered as in Figure 1.1

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6.6 Factors Promoting a Positive & Negative Health & Safety Culture & Climate.

Figure 1.1: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.


Lack of job security or uncertainty about the future leads to dissatisfaction, lack of interest in the job and
generally poor attitudes towards the company and working colleagues.
Uncertainty is often caused by management behaviour, which sends mixed signals to the workforce. If
managers are seen to say one thing and then do something completely different, this will be perceived by
the workforce as an example of management's cynicism and will undermine their authority and credibility.
If a manager claims to be in favour of health and safety but is then seen acting in an unsafe manner, e.g.
by drinking on the job, neglecting to wear PPE, or condoning other unsafe acts, there will be at best only
token acceptance of his spoken views.
Communications specialists claim that non-verbal actions, i.e. gestures or body language, constitute 70%
of communication and that words only make up perhaps less than 30% of the messages that we give.
Translated into health and safety terms, it is likely that where there is conflict between what management
say and what they do in practice, their actions will dominate the communication process and it will be those
actions which set the tone for the organisation and become the cultural norm.
We are all familiar with those old clichs -"Don't do as I do, do as I say" and "Actions speak louder than
words" - and the key to good communication lies somewhere between the two.
To be effective, management's verbal communications and their observable behaviour and actions should
be consistent, as it is more likely that the workforce will judge management by their actions rather than their
words.
7.0 Questionable Management Decisions.
Decisions are perceived or interpreted in different ways by individuals, dependent upon their own
experience and expectations. Inconsistency in decision-making about salaries, bonuses, incentives,
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7.0 Questionable Management Decisions.


promotions, transfers, etc. can be the trigger which sets off a good deal of unrest and distrust in an
organisation.
From your own working experience, you can probably cite some management decisions which beggared
belief at first glance, but which perhaps were not unreasonable when the full facts surrounding the decision
became public. Management therefore have to be aware that good communication is part and parcel of
effective decision-making.
The following circumstances give rise to distrust and doubt about management commitment generally, but
apply equally to decisions about safety.
Where there are no rules or no precedents, decisions may appear to be arbitrary and inconsistent.

Refusal to delegate decision-making leads to demotivation and diminution of a sense of


responsibility in subordinates.
Constant rescinding by senior management of decisions made at lower levels of management.
Delays in making decisions.
Decisions affected by conflicting goals between management and workers.
Decisions affected by conflicting goals between different departments.
Lack of consultation prior to decision-making.

Management decisions which are aimed at achieving individual rather than organisational objectives, or
decisions generated according to some hidden agenda are also disruptive. It is this placing of self-interest
in terms of career progression before service to the organisation which can often disrupt relationships and
affect the efficiency of the company.
Many modern management thinkers urge that "ownership" or "stewardship" by workers of the
organisation's goals is the ideal basis for good management in any company.
7.1 Effecting Change.
Change is accepted as a universal feature of modern organisational life, but few people (including
managers and employees) feel comfortable when change affects them personally. Change can induce
stress and tensions rooted in fear and innate conservatism. Some psychologists argue that people see
rapid change as an assault on their personal selves, thus triggering feelings of self-preservation.
Both managers and employees develop set patterns of thought and behaviour, and these can be difficult to
overcome when change occurs. This phenomenon is known as perceptual set, which is the way in which
observed information is processed by the individual to fit his/her internal experience, attitude, expectations,
sensitivity and culture.
It is this perceptual set which makes us more responsive to certain stimuli than others.
We cannot cope equally with all the information we are simultaneously receiving from our environment. A
common example of this is termed the "cocktail effect". Whilst engaged in conversation within a group, say
at a party, someone in another group nearby mentions your name. Although listening to your group's
conversation you pick up your name, although you have not heard the rest of the other group's
conversation.
Because we have different perceptual sets, we have slightly different perceptions. Several people looking
at a large, classical painting in an art gallery will all see the same painting, but each individual will focus on,
and remember, different aspects of it simply because of his/her individual perceptions.
Psychologists researching attitudes to change have discovered that frequently, older people are more
resistant to change than younger ones. This supports the view that it is difficult to "teach old dogs new
tricks". In addition, it was noted that staff with heavy commitments, such as large mortgages, tended to
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7.1 Effecting Change.


seek security and feared change.
7.9 Conflict in Change.
Coping With the Psychological Problems of Change
Wherever possible, management should plan for change. Sometimes this cannot be done, as there are
occasions when a sudden wave of change hits an organisation from an outside source over which
management has no control, e.g. the financial collapse of an important customer, the outbreak of a war, or
a sudden change in government legislation. The Credit Crunch of 2008 and the consequent banking crisis
is a case in point, taking many so-called 'experts' by surprise.
The essence of planning for change can be pinpointed by management asking itself the following
questions:

What do we intend to do?


When is it to be done?
Who will do it?
How will it be done?
Where will it be done?

Let's look at these points in greater detail:


(a) Planning for change should start at the top but should encourage participation at all levels from those
who have expert opinions on, and experience of, the areas involved in the changes. There should be clear
objectives as to what is to be achieved by the proposed change, e.g. a cost/benefit analysis of the changes
suggested.
(b) The timing of change is crucial: hurried and ill-thought-out change can cause havoc in a workforce.
However, remember that changes which do not keep to the set timetable and are frequently postponed also
cause frustration and confusion among those concerned.
(c) Plans for change should clearly designate exactly who is responsible for initiating and implementing
specified changes.
(d) The change plan should set out clearly just how each stage of the change process will be conducted.
Effective communication between all those implementing change is crucial.
(e) Change frequently involves the physical movement of staff and resources, e.g. the centralising of an
administrative unit or the opening of a new department on a different site. All such movements require
careful planning.
Gaining Acceptance of Change.
Although planning is an important first stage as it provides the framework for change, a number of other
steps need to be taken to help smooth the way for the implementation of change in organisations.
Important among these are:
Communications
Early publicity of pending change may avoid rumours circulating and misunderstandings developing which
unsettle and worry staff. However, the mere knowledge that change is about to happen without an
understanding of how individuals and groups will be affected can cause alarm. The first thought in people's
minds is: "How will this affect me?"
Wherever possible, direct briefings, meetings or interviews should keep managers and staff aware of
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7.9 Conflict in Change.


proposed changes and the progress being made as changes get under way.
Participation
Wherever possible, those affected by the change should be encouraged to participate in its implementation.
The human relations approach stresses that communication should be supplemented by encouraging
individuals and work groups to contribute their views as change progresses. Senior management can profit
from the feedback they receive from all parts of the organisation. Research has revealed that participation
in solving the problems connected with change assists its acceptance by the staff concerned.
Work Groups and Teams
Wherever possible, effective work groups or teams should be transferred as a whole into new work
situations or practices. The group gives confidence to its individual members, who feel that they are "all in
the same boat". If the goodwill of informal networks can be won over, change should proceed more
smoothly.
Transfers and Redundancies
Where transfers or redundancies are inevitable they should be handled sensitively and fairly and, where
appropriate, trade unions should be informed and involved from as early a stage as possible.
Transfers can enhance personal development, broaden experience and provide an opportunity to bring
fresh and perhaps creative thought to a routine task.
Redundancy is not so easy to manage. Every effort should be made to find alternative placements for those
involved. Redundancies also affect those who remain. The empty desks are a reminder of the climate of
instability, and may encourage those who remain to seek alternative positions.
Opportunities and Rewards
Changes should be presented as the natural order of things for a modern organisation. Change is more
likely to be welcomed if, at the end of it, people's jobs are made more interesting, more productive, better
paid, etc.
Training in new skills and the development of existing skills should be offered and encouraged when they
are required; this has psychological as well as operational advantages. When staff feel that they have
mastered new skills to cope with change, they derive job satisfaction, which gives a powerful boost to
morale.
Linking the social needs of the individual to the need for change in the organisation can assist the smooth
running of modern socio-technical systems.
7.3 Changing Organisational Cultures.
If change is to be successful, it has to take place in an organisational or corporate culture which is
conducive to it. The best organisations are characterised by a coherent culture that is sufficiently flexible to
facilitate change.
Definitions
There are two important concepts involved here:
(a) Organisation culture refers to objective characteristics of an organisation that can be observed or
inferred by an outside observer. For example, the structure of an organisation, the roles and rules, the
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7.3 Changing Organisational Cultures.


degree of delegation of authority or the degree of specialisation can be observed. The deep-seated values
of the organisation, e.g. a respect for tradition or service to customers or community, can be inferred by an
outsider.
(b) Organisational climate is a more subjective concept. It is the way people in the organisation perceive its
structure, roles, rules, authority, etc. For example, do people feel that they have control over their work
situation? Do they feel that they are just cogs in a machine or valued human beings? Whereas
organisational culture is shared by all levels in the organisation, organisational climate may be seen
differently from various positions in the organisation. Organisational climate is the insider's view and can
only be discovered by in-depth research.
Some management experts have likened the climate of an organisation to the personality of an individual.
A person may appear quite different to various other individuals, depending on their standpoint and values,
e.g. the same person may be seen as generous by some and a spendthrift by others.
In order to achieve effective change, it may be necessary to alter organisational culture and climate.
Role Cultures
Another important way of analysing change in organisations was put forward by Charles Handy, the
management writer. He developed the concept of role cultures to describe the ways in which individuals
behave in organisations; this behaviour is shaped by the organisational culture and climate of the
organisation, e.g. if the culture is bureaucratic and the employee sees it as bureaucratic (climate), then
his/her behaviour is likely to be bureaucratic. The same would apply if we substituted entrepreneurial for
bureaucratic.
Handy argues that the significant change in modern organisations is away from bureaucratic role cultures
towards flexible federal role cultures. Let's see what he means by this.
Bureaucratic Role Culture
In a bureaucratic culture, the power of the individual derives from the office or position he holds within the
organisation. This power is set by the rules which managers and their subordinates must follow. This
following of set procedures gives rise to a predictable and secure culture. The organisation is a very solid
structure; each role is clearly defined, each department is a pillar of stability with clearly marked
boundaries.
This role culture can work well in times or areas of relative stability, but has great problems in coping with
periods of rapid change. These problems of bureaucracy are apparent in our modern changing society and
turbulent environments, so we may well find the bureaucratic role culture inappropriate for many presentday organisations.
Flexible Federal Role Culture
Modern needs are calling forth a new federal role culture which sheds much of the culture of bureaucracy.
Handy sees a crucial role for management in developing new role cultures.
Leadership should go beyond giving orders and instructions; the leader should have a vision of what the
organisation should be and share it with fellow employees. This vision should illuminate what is going on in
the organisation so that people see the point of what they are doing at work.
A fundamental point in the new flexible culture is that organisations should be run by persuasion and
consent. Many organisations are reducing their use of the term "manager", which can sound remote and
authoritarian. Flexible cultures try to avoid the "them and us" image which arises from the idea of managers
and workers, so they prefer to use the concepts of team leader or staff coordinator. Another tactic to reduce
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7.3 Changing Organisational Cultures.


bureaucracy is to have flatter authority structures, with as few as four layers.
The flexible federal culture draws together many of the strands of contingency theory and the human
relations approach. It follows contingency theory in that it accepts the bureaucratic culture as appropriate to
stable conditions, while arguing for the federal culture to cope with rapid changes. You can see human
relations influences in the ideas of persuasion and consent; there is emphasis on the idea of the willing,
enthusiastic employee.
Flexible federal culture facilitates change and is the goal towards which many modern organisations are
moving.
Having identified the factors which lead to a negative attitude towards health and safety, the safety
practitioner, if he is to be effective, has to attack the problem of change.
There is much more to introducing change than simply re-designing the management organogram or
flowchart. It involves changing the nature and culture of the organisation and this in turn means changing
peoples' behaviour and attitudes. This is by no means easy and the safety practitioner has to be aware of
the individual and organisational in-built resistance to changes in attitudes and culture generally.
In order to overcome these problems, he has to plan and it is worth considering briefly how organisations
carry out the planning function.
7.4 Planning Methods.
Planning is the process of setting objectives which are to be achieved through the implementation of
policies and the use of strategies and tactics.
The words 'plan', 'policy', 'strategy' and 'tactic' are often confused and taken to be synonymous. In fact,
they have different, distinct meanings:

Plan: the overall arrangements by which objectives are to be achieved.


Policy: a long-term guide to assist in achieving objectives.
Strategy: a general programme of action aimed at achieving planned objectives in the mid-term.
Tactics: short-term devices used to implement strategic decisions which may be changed in the face
of changing circumstances.

Before it is possible to implement any form of change, the processes by which that change are to be
implemented should be planned. In general, this can be best done by using a structured plan with
appropriate guidelines, clear objectives and tasks, and realistic time-scales given to specified individuals.
The following elements should always be incorporated within the plan:
Management Approval.
Unless management have approved and are committed (see above) to the plan, then it is doomed to
failure. Management agreement should be obtained for the following:

The plan in principle.


Time expended.
Costs.
The methods to be used.
The personnel affected.

Consultation.
All persons who may be affected by the plan should be consulted and their agreement sought; this may
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7.4 Planning Methods.


include some or all of the following:

Trade unions.
Works committees.
Employee organisations.

Training.
Any change, unless extremely minor, will involve training. Provisions should be made for this at the
outset.
Monitoring/Feedback.
Any form of change should be monitored regularly by management to ensure its effectiveness. These
checks should be built in to the programme. By this means, if the programme is not achieving its
objectives, correction can be applied before it becomes catastrophic.
Communication.
There should be some mechanism incorporated into the programme by which the changes are
communicated to employees by management rather than via the 'grapevine'. Often, this can be best
achieved via an in-house journal which already has some credibility.
7.5 Implementing Change - Direct Methods.
Three useful techniques for managing change in organisations are:

organisation analysis,
organisational development and.
management development.

We shall deal briefly with each of them.

Organisation Analysis (OA)


Organisation analysis begins by studying the symptoms which suggest that organisational change is
required. These symptoms will include:

lack of innovation.
poor communication.
decision-making problems.
failures in departmental areas.

Analysis consists of four stages:


(1) Assignment of responsibility for the analysis, e.g. senior manager, management team.
(2) Collection of data.
(3) Planning of alternative organisations, e.g. ideal organisational models incorporating improvements.
(4) Installing and implementing the most effective organisation structure.
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7.5 Implementing Change - Direct Methods.

The organisation analyst uses four main tools:

Questionnaires.
Job descriptions.
Organisation charts.
Organisation manuals.

The advantages of formal OA are:

Senior executives focus on organisational problems.


The organisation's existing structure and functions are examined and can be corrected.
An authoritative source establishes authority, accountability and functional relationships.
The analysis provides trainees with a point of orientation.

The disadvantages are:

Rigidity and inflexibility can occur thereafter in the organisation's structure and functions.
The organisation may become precedent-bound.
Informal organisation may be ignored - particularly in relation to interpersonal and communication
factors.

Overall, however, OA forces management to focus on the key areas of an organisation that must receive
attention if successful change is to be achieved.
7.6 Organisational Development (OD).
Organisational development aims to improve the way an organisation functions by accepting change as a
fact of life. It is an on-going process which constantly seeks to improve the framework into which
employees are going to fit.
It works on a set of assumptions about people in organisations.

Each person is a complex mixture of needs (refer to Maslow above).


An important need is the need to grow psychologically - to improve at what we are good at.
The recognition of the above two points implies that the organisation should provide the individual
with the opportunity to act as a human being in the work situation, rather than as a "cog in the
wheel".
Most workers are willing and able to make a greater contribution to the organisation's objectives if
given the chance.
It is part of the organisational task to provide an environment in which the worker may find work
which is challenging, meaningful and enjoyable.
The formal leader of a group cannot alone perform all the "maintenance" functions necessary to
keep the group in a cohesive state.
Opportunities should be provided for workers to influence the relationship between themselves, their
work, and their working environment.
The relationship between the worker and the informal organisation (peer group) is crucial.
Improvement cannot come from simply adjusting the formal structure.
Authority and status systems which encourage workers to hide their feelings and emotions are
dysfunctional.
An effective organisation functions through the medium of groups rather than individuals.
An effective organisation is free from discrimination of all kinds.

The application of OD to a problem area falls into four steps, known collectively as action research. These
steps are:
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7.6 Organisational Development (OD).

diagnosis.
data collection.
feedback; and
intervention.

They are not individual and separate activities but rather stages in a continuous process. In a full-scale OD
application the cycle will be repeated as objectives are reached and replaced by higher ones. Feedback
itself is a powerful intervention and will be treated as such in the following discussion.
Diagnosis.
Action research is, in fact, the application of a systematic approach to problem-solving; indeed, it is closely
parallel to the conventional problem-solving process.
The first stage is the realisation by a key member of the organisation that there are some organisational
problems which might possibly be tackled by the intervention of behavioural science.
A behavioural consultant (change agent) would, in the first instance, be called in from outside and, in
discussion with key members of the organisation, the problem would be identified and commitment made to
doing something about it.
Data Collection.
Information forms the basis of any learning about, or intervention in, the organisation and, as such, its
collection is of primary importance to the OD role. The task at this stage is to describe the system with its
relationships, and to identify the major problem areas and issues.
A general guide to what information to collect is given by Beckhard (in "Organisation Development:
Strategies and Models"):
"The development of a strategy for systematic improvement of an organisation demands an examination of
the present state of things. Such an analysis usually looks at two broad areas. One is a diagnosis of the
various subsystems that make up the total organisation. These subsystems may be natural 'teams' such as
top management, the finance department, the production department or a research group; or they may be
levels, such as top management, middle management, or the workforce.
The second area of diagnosis is the organisation processes that are occurring. These include decisionmaking processes, communications patterns and styles, relationships between interfacing groups, the
management of conflict, the setting of goals and planning methods."
It is impossible to state categorically what information should be collected; it will vary from situation to
situation. In one sense it is concerned with any measure of organisational performance, i.e. performance
against any of the objectives of the enterprise, implicit or explicit, not simply the task-oriented or functional
ones. Anything, in fact, which tends to make for a good organisation, rather than a poor one, is grist to OD's
informational mill.
Apart from the conventional performance indices, then, you might expect to see assessments of such
factors as:

The way members perceive their own organisation and its operation.
The way members see their roles in relation to other roles.
The way authority and power are shared and used.
The values and beliefs (the culture) of members.
Employee attitudes.

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7.6 Organisational Development (OD).

The content and pattern of communication systems.

The data collected are useful in two ways. Firstly, even if no further action is taken, the fact that members
can know and understand their organisation better is a benefit in itself. It is of such benefit, indeed, that the
systems of data collection set up at this stage are normally left in existence so that data capture becomes
part of the organisation's way of life. Secondly, the data form the basis for any decision as to action
designed to create change.
All the conventional fact-collection techniques may be used - questionnaires, interviewing, attitude surveys,
systems analysis, etc. but some newer approaches are appearing. The consultant or change agent must
help the group to decide which technique is the appropriate one. Margulies and Raia("Organisation
Development: Values, Process and Technology") suggest that the key variables which govern the choice of
data collection technique are:
(a) Time: Which technique will provide the timeliest data? How much time can we afford to spend gathering
the data? Which technique is likely to provide the best data for the time we can currently allocate?
(b) Cost: What are the costs associated with collecting the data? Can we do it more efficiently?
(c) Needs: Which method or technique best matches the current needs of the organisation or group? Is a
more direct or less direct approach more appropriate?
(d) Nature of the organisation: What are the culture and values of the organisation? Are people likely to be
candid? Which methods and techniques appear to be most appropriate to the organisation?
(e) Feedback: Information fed back serves two functions. It is a basis for future decisions as to future action
in the organisation, but it is also, and perhaps more importantly, a powerful change force in its own right. As
such, we treat it as an intervention here.
Two fundamental beliefs of the OD approach are, firstly, that development work must take place in a
participative manner and, secondly, that any programme of development must be clearly related to an
explicit objective against which success may ultimately be assessed.
Furthermore, any programme will have within it two facts - action and learning. It is important that the
members of the organisation learn about its functioning so that the action may have some meaning and, of
course, so that they may relate to it and to each other in a more effective fashion.
These factors combine to make feedback of collected data to the whole group concerned in the study an
essential part of the OD process.
An attempt is being made to try to reach a position where every member has a fuller understanding and
knowledge of the organisation. It is thus a much deeper, more exhaustive treatment than the conventional
problem-solving process would offer.
Intervention.
With the knowledge gained of the fabric of the organisation, the collected information is examined by all
concerned to define areas where further action might improve effectiveness.
Clearly anyone who does anything within an organisation is intervening in it, and the mere act of collecting
information and discussing it affects what is being studied and is itself an intervention.
Asking questions about any chosen aspect of the organisation will of itself alter the way in which that
aspect is regarded. But even more, OD introduces deliberate and planned interventions emanating from the
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7.6 Organisational Development (OD).


diagnosis and aimed at overcoming defined problems or building on discovered strengths.
Planned intervention involves taking people as teams and in some way getting them to adjust their
behaviour to improve organisational effectiveness. The general aim is that problems should be solved or
that group members should learn about themselves and about the effects they have on other group
members.
Problem-solving or gaining knowledge are not, however, ends in themselves. Members must also learn
"how to learn". Intervention is concerned with developing the permanent capacity to adapt.
According to the management experts French and Bell, OD embodies the following crucial points:

It is a way of changing organisational structures.


It is a long-range technique which takes time to become effective.
The core of OD is to enable the organisation to learn how to solve its problems.
OD sets out to encourage a participative culture and places great emphasis on group problemsolving.
OD is concerned with change in the whole organisation.
7.7 Management Development and Approaches to Change.

Management development is associated with staff development and training.


It can be defined as:
a systematic process of growth based on training and experience, by which individuals acquire ability and
skills to manage effectively and are prepared to cope with change. MD is a technique used to assist
organisations to cope with change.
It consists of the following steps:
Management Review.
The main stages of a management review are as follows:

(a) To determine the number of management posts required at present and to forecast the future
requirement. Too many chiefs and too few Indians is a common criticism, but bear in mind that
organisations can suffer from being under managed.
(b) To examine the numbers in each grade of management - top, middle and first-line managers - and estimate future needs.
(c) To examine the make-up of management in various departments.
(d) To look at the effects of expansion or contraction on the organisation's management structure.
(e) To evaluate existing managers and assess their suitability for coping with change.

Management Appraisal.
This step of the management development process involves the assessment of managers' current
performance with particular reference to estimating their potential to face new challenges.
Development Programmes.
Efficient organisations will be constantly preparing for change by assisting managers to develop flexibility,
new skills and the ability to cope with change.
Management development is linked to OD in that they are both involved in change management.
Organisational development is aimed at improving the whole organisation, whereas management
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7.7 Management Development and Approaches to Change.


development stresses the improvement of the individual in terms of his ability to help to manage the
organisation.
Direct Action.
Change is often implemented by having a two-tiered structure, i.e. a steering group and a working party.
This approach is often adopted where a major change is proposed in a complex organisation over a
relatively short time-scale.
A steering group should consist of high-level personnel (e.g. directors and heads of departments) who give
broad objectives and set time-scales. This group will meet infrequently and will give visible management
support for the change programme. A working party will normally consist of a mixture of middle
management, first-line supervisors, and union/worker representatives, with the power to co-opt any worker
with specialist knowledge or skills where such expertise is necessary. The working party will carry the
"message" to the workforce. It is most effective if both groups have a common secretary (a safety
professional) who can act as the link. The chair of the working party should also be a member of the
steering group, to provide a visible and clear link between the two groups. An important part of the role of
the working party will be to give feedback to the steering group. Figure 2.1 shows this process
diagrammatically.

Figure 2.1: Relationship between a Steering Group and a Working Party.


The pace of change should be dictated by the feedback which is given by the working party. If the feedback
indicates that the changes are viewed positively, then progress can continue; however, if there is strong
negative feedback then perhaps the process should be slowed or an alternative method tried. Some
companies claim to have been undergoing this process for many years and still have room for further
improvements.
Benefits of a Gradualist Approach.
Sometimes, the implementation of the change will be forced on the organisation by external forces. The
BSE crisis is a good example of this (see above) where immediate change was imperative. Rapid changes
of this nature, however, are not well-received and it is much better if change can be introduced gradually to
give organisations and individuals time to adapt to new conditions.
There is a body of evidence which shows that when implementing change, it is more acceptable if some
degree of control can be exerted by those most affected by that change. This may not always be possible
in all circumstances, but it is a principle worth striving for.
The impact of the "Six-Pack", a clutch of EU-inspired regulations enacted in 1992 and appended to the
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7.7 Management Development and Approaches to Change.


HSWA, is a good example of this, where although an external influence, i.e. European legislation, brought
about changes in UK legislation which then imposed new rules, regulations and huge costs on British
industry, the method of implementation - consultation - directive - statutory instrument - with a time-scale of
two years for compliance, in many cases allowed gradual change to be controlled by both legislators and
industry.
On the other hand, changes implemented at high speed are always a high-risk strategy and often may not
yield permanent results. If the change is phased in over a period of time, then there is time for adaptation
and modification and for the change to become part of the established culture. In addition, by attempting
change at too high a pace, trust in management may be lost and any further attempt at change may be
strongly resisted. However, a good morale in the workforce, effective communication and management
credibility will go far to mitigate these dangers.
7.8 Implementing the Change - Indirect Methods.
Risk Assessment.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 were a milestone in health and safety in
that for the first time, they explicitly required risk assessment to be carried out in all workplaces. The risk
assessment requirements specified or implied in the accompanying "European" legislation have become, in
many instances, a catalyst for change.
By carrying out the risk assessments, existing deficiencies in the workplace are identified and corrective
action put in place to eliminate them. This, in a sense, is a form of change programme, with the ultimate
objective of reducing risk in the workplace. If it is treated in this way, then it can in itself be used to
implement a broad range of changes required in the workplace.
Training
Management training courses and general training sessions can include discussions on new safety
technology, and new or impending safety legislation, in order to pave the way for the introduction of change
at some time in the future.
Joint Consultation
Effective consultation with managers at all levels and with trade union representatives, representatives of
staff associations, and workers' representatives about proposals for change, as well as being a legal
requirement in health and safety terms, are of paramount importance in dealing with change.
Incentive Schemes
Health and safety is usually viewed with a certain amount of indifference by most staff as being dull and
uninteresting. Motivation towards greater interest and involvement in health and safety can be generated by
incentive schemes, although they need to be carefully organised and monitored.
It is important not to link them to incident/accident rates, as this can lead to under-reporting of incidents.
They are an inexpensive means of promoting health and safety but need the support of management and
unions to be completely successful.
Feedback
We have already referred to feedback a number of times in this study unit. It is a necessary component of
the communication process and fundamental to managing change effectively.
New legislation, instructions, rules, regulations, plans, etc. may look marvellously efficient on paper but the
proof of the pudding, we all know, is in the eating.
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7.8 Implementing the Change - Indirect Methods.


Feedback from the worker or operator "at the sharp end" will enable management to evaluate the new
processes and fine-tune them where necessary.
7.9 Conflict in Change.
In many cases, the introduction of change is accompanied by conflict within an organisation. It is
sometimes said that in order to introduce change, management must be able to resolve conflicts.
Organisational conflict may be defined as "any perceived clash of interests between individuals, groups or
levels of authority in an organisation". The key element in the definition is "perceived". There may be
differences of interest within an organisation, but it is when these surface and are perceived as important
that problems arise. Change can act to magnify clashes of interest, as it shakes up existing relationships.
An Analysis of Conflict.
There are various types of conflict which can arise when change is introduced.
Horizontal Conflict.
This refers to perceived disputes and clashes between approximate equals, e.g. when managers conflict
with other managers or employees with other employees.
Vertical Conflict
This refers to perceived clashes of interest between people at different levels of an organisation, e.g.
conflicts between employees and managers, or supervisors and those below or above them.
Organised and Unorganised Conflict
Organised conflict refers to action of one group against another, taken through the recognised channels for
complaints or disputes. In contrast, unorganised conflict involves spontaneous eruptions of disputes.
Another distinction can be made between collective action in a conflict situation, where a whole group acts
in unison to further its case in a dispute, and individual action, which arises when a single worker finds
himself in conflict with other workers, or with management.
Origins of Conflict During Periods of Change.
There are a number of basic causes of conflict which may flare up when change is taking place in
organisations. These include:
(a) Personality Clashes
Change often brings people of differing personalities into new relationships at work.
Differences of temperament are at their most abrasive when people are new to each other; a measure of
tolerance may build up over time.
Personality clashes may take place with both horizontal and vertical conflict. New managers can face
hostility both from existing managers and existing employees.
(b) Communications
Poor communications in periods of change can lead to misunderstandings and confusion, which can fuel
conflict.
Absence of trust in communications is unsettling and demotivating. We previously saw how inconsistent
management behaviour can bring about mistrust and uncertainty, leading to a complete breakdown in
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7.9 Conflict in Change.


relations between management and workforce.
(c) Conflicting Interests
This is at the root of the nature of conflict. Change can alter the power relationships within an organisation,
e.g. many middle managers feel threatened by the extensive use of computers, while at the same time
computer experts gain power and influence.
(d) Lack of Leadership and Control
Poor leadership and control can result in a lack of clear direction which, in turn, can lead to conflict as
various people interpret the scenario for change in different ways.
Question 1.
____ This refers to perceived clashes of interest between people at different levels of an organisation, e.g.
conflicts between employees and managers, or supervisors and those below or above them.
Question 2.
Competence of employees is achieved through:
Question 3.
Co-operation is achieved through:
Question 4.
According to Maslow's Hierarchy of needs, physiological needs are satisfied by:
Question 5.
An indicator of a positive health and safety culture is:
7.10 Coping with Conflict.
All the guidelines suggested to assist management to cope with change are applicable to coping with
conflict. However, these guidelines operate within two broad approaches to conflict, which are:
Unitary Approach
This involves the notion of the common aims of the whole organisation. The argument here is that both
workers and management really have the same basic interests and these are rooted in the well-being of the
organisation.
According to this view, conflicts arise because workers do not fully appreciate where their true interests lie.
The unitary approach puts some blame on management when conflicts break out - management must have
failed to communicate with, and convince, workers that their best interests lie in cooperation and not
conflict.
Followers of this approach say that the way to tackle conflict at its roots is to generate team spirit, company
loyalty and good working conditions.
Pluralist Approach
This recognises that the organisation is made up of various groups whose interests and goals may differ.
The unitary perspective is related to scientific management. Recognition of the pluralist goals in an
organisation is more realistic, and conflicting parties will both benefit from identifying issues of compatibility.
The way to control conflict is to balance the various groups. It is argued that where strong management
works alongside strong trade unions, each side respects the other and does not lightly enter into conflict.
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7.10 Coping with Conflict.


The causes of conflict are brought out into the open and hard bargaining takes place, but serious disruption
to the work of the organisation is avoided.
Generally, managers adopt the unitary approach to conflict and change, while trade unions favour the
pluralist approach.
7.11 Video: Culture.
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7.12 Summary.
In this study unit we have looked, in general terms, at the concept of culture within an organisation, and
then shifted the focus onto safety culture.
We have examined how to identify and measure cultural indicators, and demonstrated the importance of
motivation, communication and commitment in promoting and maintaining a positive safety culture.
We also considered how a negative safety culture could be induced by bad or indifferent management.
Unless there is a clear commitment within the organisation, good communication, trust and shared common
values, there will be resistance to change. However, with these in place, the organisation should be able to
take most changes in its stride.

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SHEilds General Contacts

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