Health and safety is a topic that can spark a heated discussion.
Many people think that health and safety regulations have gone too far and others think that they don’t go far enough. For managers this can prove to be a problem. Especially when it comes to managing your team.
Becoming an effective health and safety manager doesn’t happen overnight. Experience and training are key to improving your performance however there are a few alternative methods you can use to enhance your efficiency and keep your staff safe in the workplace.
Differentiate Between Leading and Managing
We blogged about the differences between leadership and management last year and when it comes to health and safety, managers need to be able to lead and manage their employees. This often involves different strategies and skills.
For example, leading places the emphasis on a change of culture. It should highlight why safety matters and what benefits working safely and following regulations brings. Whereas managing encompasses making sure that policies and procedures are being actually followed.
Both are invaluable to not only creating a culture of safety but also ensuring that your staff are adhering to regulations as well.
Focus on Rational Safety Rather Than Emotional
While an emotional argument for health and safety can work, when it comes to being an effective manager in the business world a rational approach works best in the long term.
Presentations and meetings regarding how failing to follow health and safety can result in injury or the impact on an employee’s family can have shock value but it is generally only a short term fix.
Focusing on a rational approach and addressing a lax health and safety culture within your team will make you a more effective manager than using any scare tactics.
Transfer Your Skills To Safety Management
What do you do in your spare time?
Our whole lives shouldn’t revolve around work however for managers taking skills or attributes from other things that you are involved in and transferring these to health and safety can work wonders for your performance.
You can go on all the safety courses you want but you need to be a good manager to make that knowledge effective. If you can bring something to the role that will make you stand out in the way that you get your message across then your staff will be much more likely to listen and respond in a positive way.
Becoming An Effective Health and Safety Manager
As we mentioned earlier, this doesn’t happen overnight.
Management is something that not everyone is cut out for but it is a role that you can grow into overtime if you have the drive, tenacity and enthusiasm to do so.
As a health and safety manager you deal with implementing policies and procedures, keeping up to date with regulations and working to change the culture in your workplace.
There is no standard blueprint to do this however if you find a method that works well for yourself and your team while bringing something new to the table you will improve your effectiveness dramatically.