Health and Safety Essay

Pages: 13 (3319 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare

Health and Safety

The main purpose of the HSE is to prevent death and injury in the workplaces of Great Britain. This discussion examined the recent trends in HSE enforcement policies and critically assessed their strengths and weaknesses. Trends include enforcement, consideration of administrative costs and revitalization of Health and Safety standards amongst organizations. The strengths of the current trends include a thorough investigations of the various aspects of Health and Safety that need to be considered when developing policies. One of the weaknesses is the lack of seamless functionality present with the HSE. The discussion also focused on recommendations for improvement. It is recommended that the HSE do everything in its power to educate employers and employees concerning health and safety regulations. Possessing knowledge of the standards associated with Health and safety is vitally important to ensuring that people are not injured or killed in the workplace.

Introduction

Health and Safety in the workplace are extremely important. Government and businesses alike want to ensure that employees are safe while carrying out their job duties. The purpose of this discussion is to examine the recent trends in HSE enforcement policies and critically assess their strengths and weaknesses. The discussion will also focus on recommendations for improvement.

HSE enforcement policies

The main purpose of the HSE is to prevent death and injury in the workplaces of Great Britain.

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To this end the HSE has implemented several policies. One aspect of the policy has been the development of a strategy. According to HSE

"HSE's Strategy is aimed at helping achieve targets. It brings a clearer focus on the overall direction and gives priorities for the health and safety system as a whole. The Strategy is designed to promote our vision: to see Health and Safety as a cornerstone of a civilised society and, with that, to achieve a record of workplace health and safety that leads the world."

Essay on Health and Safety Assignment

HSE recognizes the need for establishing standards and target as a way to ensure the health and safety of employees. HSE also wants the health and safety standards that are established to serve as an example for workplace safety throughout the globe.

In addition to making it clear to enterprises what is expected in the way of health and safety at the current time, the HSE has also developed policies that will be relevant well into the future. According to an article entitled "A strategy for workplace health and safety in Great Britain to 2010 and beyond" the 1974 Health and Safety at Work etc. Act was responsible for establishing the need for employers to guard the health and safety of employees.

This act was also responsible for the establishment of the HSC and the HSE. Together these organization has worked together to establish laws related to workplace safety. In addition these organizations have been responsible for greatly reducing the number of work related deaths and injuries in Great Britain.

The HSC and the HSE have four continuous goals. These goals are as follows

1. Encouraging organizations to establish high standards and it pertains to the safety and the health of employees.

2. Provide protection by supplying resources such as advice, encouraging research, establishing goal setting systems and so forth.

3. Collaborate with businesses working in hazardous materials or machinery in improving health and safety standards.

4. Exploit all the resources afforded the HSC and HSE in an effort to make workplaces safer.

In addition to these continuous aims, the HSC and HSE has new aims that it has established to guide Great Britain's work environments into the future. These four aims include the following

1. The development of new strategies as it relates to the health and safety issues of to confront the ever changing needs of organizations particularly in this economy. The agencies also want to ensure that risks are managed properly.

2. Reflect public sector best practice in the management of resources.

3. Confront new work related health and safety issues.

4. Realize a greater amount of recognition and respect as it pertains to health and safety and the role of health and safety as aspects of Modern and competitive business strategies.

Another trend associated with HSE is that of enforcement. Setting standards and establishing laws can become quite meaningless if these laws and standards are not enforced. Understanding this the HSE has established a policy related directly to enforcement. The HSE explains that the primary purpose of enforcement is to guarantee that organizations manage and control risks in a manner that is appropriate and in so doing prevent injury.

In addition the HSE explains that the word enforcement is inclusive of all issues that occur between authorities that enforce health and safety standards and those responsible for upholding the law in the workplace including employers and employees. The HSE also explains that enforcement should be fair, the article explains,

"HSE believes in firm but fair enforcement of health and safety law. This should be informed by the principles of proportionality in applying the law and securing compliance; consistency of approach; targeting of enforcement action;

transparency about how the regulator operates and what those regulated may expect; and accountability for the regulator's actions. These principles should apply both to enforcement in particular cases and to the health and safety enforcing authorities' management of enforcement activities as a whole."

The article also explains that there are three purposes for enforcement. These purposes are as follows:

1. To guarantee that organizations work to solve serious health and safety risks immediately.

2. To encourage and achieve lasting compliance with laws and standards.

3. To make certain that organizations that do not comply with standards regarding health and safety laws. In addition enforcement is important because it holds directors and mangers who do not handle their responsibilities accountable for their actions. These accountability measure are often inclusive of lawsuits that will force parties to appear in the courts in Wales or England. Offenders can also be prosecuted in Scotland.

Since the year 2000, there has been a concerted effort to reinforce health and safety standards. In fact the HSE developed a report that detailed the revitalization of Health and Safety efforts in Great Britain in June of 2000. This report laid the foundation for the development of trends in health and safety that are now present within HSE. According to the report the Revitalizing of Health and Safety had several aims:

To infuse new energy into the health and safety policies of Great Britain

To develop new strategies geared toward reducing accidents and health problems caused in the workplace. These new strategies were specifically geared toward small businesses

To guarantee that the strategies developed to manage workplace health and safety are still relevant in 25 years even though the world is changing drastically.

To acquire the maximum benefits associated with occupational health and safety and other Governmental programs.

One of the main aspects of the revitalization plan involved getting feedback from organizations including employers and employees. This feedback was needed so that the HSE and other government organizations could understand the issues that were pressing for organizations. According to the report,

"The Revitalising Health and Safety consultation document was launched jointly by DETR and the Health and Safety Commission on 1 July, 1999. It set out the economic business case for further action, and sought views on what more could be done to make the Government's vision for higher standards a reality. In addition to the main document, three summary leaflets were produced to target employers, workers and small and medium-sized enterprises. Over 7,000 copies of the main document and 40,000 leaflets were distributed."

The responses that the HSE received were interesting in that nearly all of the respondents believed that there was more that the organization and the government could do to increase the health ad safety standards. The respondents felt that the increases in health and safety standards needed to be broad across every sector and types of business. The article further explains that the "open nature of the consultation inspired a broad range of ideas for how further improvements might be made."

The report asserts that there were seven primary themes that were developed as a result of the input of respondents. These themes include;

1. Increasing awareness concerning Health and Safety- respondents believed that awareness was a significant issue related to encouraging health and safety standards. Respondents believed that a great amount of awareness was necessary if standards were to be developed and adhered to in the workplace.

2. Enforcement- respondents also felt that there was a need for more enforcement. The respondents asserted that penalties needed to be more severe, regulators needed more resources, more inspections were needed, and there needed to be better reporting of incidents when they did occur.

3. Organizational responsibilities. The respondents believed that organizations needed to be more involved in developing health and safety standards. This means that organizations need to make a concerted effort to implement standards and educate employees concerning these standards.

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