Home >The Facilities Event Live: Come on down it’s The Compliance Conundrum

The Facilities Event Live: Come on down it’s The Compliance Conundrum

10 April 2019

Those listening to Greg Davies today (10th April) at The Facilities Event heard that health and safety is a fundamental part of business, but for many reasons, justified or not, it can be seen as costly, a burden, an inhibitor and even nonsensical.

"Add in changing legislation, conflicting advice and C-suite belief, and it can make creating confidence in your compliance feel a little bit of a game show," the director at Assurity Consulting continued.

In 2017/2018, 144 people died at work, and 71,062 non-fatal injuries to employees were reported by employers. On top of that 30.7 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries.

Davies went on to focus on 10 key elements of health and safety:

1) Food: There's been a lot of focus in the press recently on people becoming ill from food that they weren't aware contained allergens, even though the way that food was labelled met the regulations. With 14 different allergen groups, what are you doing in your business to manage this if you've got caterers in-house or elsewhere?, asked Davies.

2) Culture: In a recent survey of more than 3000 organisations by the Health & Safety Laboratory, 70% of workers said that they believed their organisation put productivity above  health and safety, while none of management did.

Why is that? 

"What you believe and how you act can be different things and can actually be swayed in different environments," Davies explained. "From a senior management perspective, it's not what they believe but it's how they behave that the management pick up on, which in turn is what the staff pick up on."

So if you haven't got the right culture, compliance can be difficult to achieve.

3) Risk: "If you don't get your risk assessment right, your arrangements will never be correct and if you don't have the right culture often your arrangements won't meet with what you need to do."

That is also important because of a recent change to the Sentencing Guidelines for Health and Safety. Now if you do find yourself on the wrong end of a prosecution these would be applied for health and safety offences as an individual or an organisation. 

Davies also produced the results of the Business Continuity Incidents report for 2019 which looked back over the last year at where disruptions had occurred in organisations participating in the survey - health and safety came in second. 

4) Regulation: The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has brought in the lowest number of regulations in recent years than other government bodies. 

5) Enforcement: There have been less prosecutions and prohibition notices over the past five years, but fines have gone up almost fourfold due to the new Sentencing Guidelines for Health & Safety Offences.

6) Brexit: We're being told that "health and safety protections and your duties to protect the health and safety of people will not change", Davies said. "We're actually going to preserve the UK's high standard in health and safety."

While it won't change, perhaps it might in some areas, according to Davies. We might establish our own standalone regime for chemicals and explosives. 

For others as far as the regulatory framework for manufacturers goes, that's going to stay the same. The current new harmonised standards will come in to UK designated standards so they will be moved over and might or might not change.

7) RIDDOR: 2013 is the most recent report and there we saw some changes in what was required to be reported. The HSE has also been doing a post-implementation review. 

"Some occupational diseases we've currently got may be going and others may be coming back in - I think there's an identification in some industries that we are missing some health-related - particularly lung chest - disorders that we need to be reviewing," Davies explained.

8) Wellbeing: The figures for safety are going in the right direction but we're starting to see an increase in work-related ill health, stress, depression and anxiety, Davies said. 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health illness each year, he added. 

The HSE is now asking whether it would be beneficial to have personnel trained to identify and understand the symptoms of mental ill health, and support them. Then, we also need to look at how we can manage the outcomes.

9) Measurement: According to the latest IWFM sustainability survey over 70% of organisations provide some sort of KPI report on health and safety in terms of what they're doing, coming ahead of carbon and energy management. But only about 40% of organisations are reporting on health and wellbeing.

10) Management: Davies then provided his view on how best to go about managing people, including: Make sure you've got your policies in place, you understand who's responsible, make sure that you're investing in your risk assessments, and review what you've learnt from the process and not what you've done.

More free educational seminars will be taking place at The Facilities Event on Thursday 11th April. 

To find out more please visit: https://www.facilitiesevents.com/fm-seminars