What are the role and responsibilities of a health and safety manager?

What are the role and responsibilities of a health and safety manager?
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The role of a health and safety manager is an extremely responsible one. In the unfortunate event of an incident where the company comes under investigation, both the company owners and the Health and Safety Manager can be charged with offences in breach of regulations. This can be very challenging to those involved and fines are often very high.

Unlike traditional British justice, where the accused is consider innocent until proven guilty, health and safety breaches mean that proof of innocence is necessary to escape prosecution. Providing the correct conditions and having an auditable trail is therefore critical.

The role of the health and safety manager is defined by a number of factors, most importantly the industry they work in, the size of the organisation they work for and how many people are on their team.

While the core responsibilities are similar, the workplace location and environment very much affects the ins and outs of a safety manager’s role. For example, the health and safety requirements of a warehouse, roadside or construction site, will be markedly different from those of an office or retail outlet.

The specifics of the role

As the health and safety manager’s role has to be tailored to the working environment, their responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Conducting regular risk assessments to identify health and safety risks and hazards in the workplace
  • Advising employees on risks and how to stay safe
  • Conducting research into and the purchasing of PPE and protective clothing
  • Performing first aid/ nursing duties
  • Ensuring the business complies with all health and safety legislation and keeping up-to-date with any changes
  • Attending courses/seminars to learn more about changes to legislation
  • Training all employees to manage, monitor and improve health and safety standards in the workplace
  • Highlighting any areas where health and safety training/certification is required to meet the standards imposed by legislation
  • Being responsible for all safety inspections and the creation of subsequent reports
  • Assisting with the creation and management of health and safety monitoring systems and policies
  • Managing emergency procedures, such as fire drills, and organising emergency teams, such as first aiders
  • Controlling and updating the workplace Safety Manual
  • Carrying out investigations into all accidents and near-miss incidents and recording the findings on the relevant forms
  • Being proactive by suggesting new techniques for improving health and safety
  • Setting a personal example by wearing appropriate personal protective clothing/equipment and observing all safety requirements/procedures.

One size does not fit all

While there are many common tasks and responsibilities, there will also be requirements and regulations governing a health and safety manager’s role that are specific to the industry and type of organisation they work in. For example:

– Aviation – the health and safety of those working in airport ground services means ensuring compliance with key legislation, including airport bylaws and Operational Safety Instructions, a clear understanding of the difference between key airside areas (such as the apron or ramp, manoeuvring area and movement area), the meanings of lines and markings on the ground, the PPE required to stay safe and a host of other vital safety considerations.

– Construction and Utilities – maintaining safety on a construction site or utilities site involves communicating clearly the rules governing how the site is organised, eliminating or reducing the risks of slips, trips and falls and those of working at height, as well as structural stability and demolition, electricity and fire, cranes, mobile plant and other vehicles.

– Facilities management – with responsibility for those working in commercial workplaces, the facilities manager or health and safety manager for a facilities management company will have numerous responsibilities, from the maintenance of fire extinguishers to the safe handling of hazardous waste, from managing internal teams of cleaners, electricians, plumbers and other specialist services to liaising with subcontractors of those services and ensuring that all and every health and safety regulation is adhered to.

Each sector will be governed by both general health and safety legislation, as well as that specific to the industry and it is the health and safety manager’s responsibilities to keep up-to-date with requirements and ensure compliance.

With years of experience working with those in the fields of aviation, facilities management, logistics, ground maintenance, construction and contract cleaning, Contego Safety Solutions is able to provide a wealth of support and guidance to ensure that your team have the PPE and safety clothing they need.

To find out more about our extensive range of safety clothing and PPE – download the Contego Catalogue now, visit our website www.contegosafety.co.uk or contact our friendly team on 0800 122 3323 or sales@contegosafety.co.uk for advice or to place your order.