Page 4: Implementing health and safety
Implementation means putting something into practice. Portakabin has a commitment to health and safety which goes beyond simply meeting minimal legal requirements. This is demonstrated through the achievement of OHSAS 18001, where the key aspects are covered.
a. Risk policy
An effective policy should provide clear outlines of where a company and its people stand in relation to a policy area. It should be widely communicated and understood by all.
It starts out with a ‘statement of intent’. This sets out that Portakabin aims to achieve ‘the prevention of injury and ill health and the promotion of the health and well-being of all employees’. Other aspects of the policy are:
- To achieve continuous improvement of standards by annually reviewing policies, procedures and safe systems of working and setting clear objectives and targets.
- For all employees to take ownership of health and safety. This should be their first consideration in everything they do.
- Having an ‘open door’ policy to reporting health and safety issues and concerns.
- Encouraging reporting of accident, incident and near-misses.
b. Risk identification
Companies assess all health and safety risks which are documented as part of a wider risk register. Safety procedures are then put in place to reduce or limit these risks. The risk register and safety procedures are continually updated.
H&S training for new employees is initially carried out during an induction programme. This covers all company procedures that directly affect the new employee and establishes a strong health and safety awareness. Existing employees regularly receive update training. This includes training where:
- there are modifications to new or existing machinery and equipment
- an employee changes job role or position
- people are working with hazardous substances. This is referred to as COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) training.
Employees also receive training in handling materials and equipment (set out in Manual Handling Regulations).
d. Measuring and monitoring
Portakabin regularly carries out checks to make sure that its health and safety practice is continually improving. It has a number of measures in place to record its health and safety performance. These include the analysis of accident reports. The company has an ‘aim for zero’ approach to accidents.
Another key indicator is the number of working days lost. Figures for accidents and working days lost due to accidents are constantly monitored. This makes sure that the company is alert to negative trends and patterns. These are immediately investigated.