Managing health and safety - a quality approach
A British Steel case study

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Page 2: Health and Safety at work

British Steel 4 Image 7Health and Safety legislation is part of criminal law. Employers are under a statutory duty, under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), to keep a written statement of their Health and Safety policy. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1992) also requires the formal assessment of risks to employees while at work and implementation of protective/preventative measures. Failure of employers and employees to comply with their individual duties regarding Health and Safety at work can lead to prosecution, fines, imprisonment etc.

By its nature, British Steel Engineering Steels, like any industrial organisation, has the potential to be a hazardous working environment. Large steelworks involve hot metal, noxious gases and heavy machinery. BSES’s Health and Safety record has   traditionally been very good. However, the business recognises that safety attitudes and practices require continuous improvement.

This led to a decision to drive Health and Safety standards to leading edge excellence. Improving Health and Safety practices and procedures eliminates lost work time through accidents, increases productivity, reduces costs and improves morale.

In order to achieve these goals there had to be a commitment throughout the organisation to the following principles:

  • All accidents are preventable and all risks can be safeguarded.
  • Employees at all levels have specific responsibilities for safety.
  • Each level of management has overall responsibility for accident and ill health prevention, but is assisted by safety and medical specialists who provide a comprehensive up to date advisory/monitoring service.
  • Documented safety policies and procedures are necessary and are communicated effectively to all persons who work within the business.
  • Management ensures, via regular audits, that specified systems and procedures are being followed.
  • All employees need to be involved in the development of safe working practices.
  • All employees are trained to work safely.
  • All injuries, accidents and dangerous incidents are investigated and potential hazards recognised.
  • Targets and objectives are set in each work area to ensure continuous improvement in safety performance and these are communicated effectively to all employees.

British Steel | Managing health and safety - a quality approach