We often get asked by clients how to go about health and safety monitoring and reporting. In this blog, we share with you ways you can effectively monitor and report on health and safety performance in your organisation.
Why is Health and Safety monitoring important?
The legal requirement to monitor health and safety performance is embedded in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations which details a requirement to record arrangements for the effective monitoring of preventative and protective measures.
The PLAN – DO – CHECK – ACT approach to health and safety management reinforces the importance of monitoring and reporting as a means of allowing organisations to receive both specific (e.g., incident-led) and routine reports on the performance of health and safety policy.
Checking that you are managing risks in your organisation is a vital, sometimes overlooked step. It will give you the confidence that you are doing enough to keep on top of health and safety and may also show you how you could do things better in the future.
What is Health and Safety monitoring?
In general terms, monitoring takes two forms – reactive monitoring and active monitoring.
What is Reactive Monitoring?
This type of monitoring happens after the occurrence of the event. It involves learning from past mistakes, oversights, omissions whether they result in injury, illness, damage to property or equipment, near misses or lost time.
What is Active Monitoring?
This type of monitoring is carried out before the event. It involves the identification of potential risks through regular planned observations of workplace conditions, systems, and actions of people. This method assesses whether performance standards are being implemented and management controls are effective.
You need to be sure that your monitoring adds value and isn’t just a tick-box exercise. Good-quality monitoring will not just identify problems but will help you understand what caused them and what sort of changes are needed to address them. Poor monitoring might tell you that something is wrong but may not help you understand why, or what to do about it.
How to report on Health & Safety?
Selecting the most appropriate forms of monitoring will be determined by the type of business and your health and safety objectives as stated in your Health and Safety policy. By reviewing your health and safety objectives, you can develop performance standards that can be monitored and measured, e.g.
Health and Safety Policy Objective:-
“Ensure that relevant employees have clearly assigned health and safety responsibilities; are appropriately supervised; and are competent to carry out delegated tasks through the provision of information, instruction and/or training”
- All management will complete IOSH Managing Safely Training within 6 months of appointment
- All new employees will complete H&S Induction training
- Supervisors will deliver weekly toolbox talk training sessions
There are a wide range of areas that can be considered for monitoring, some examples include: –
Proactive Monitoring Data Examples: –
- The extent to which plans and objectives have been set and achieved
- Staff perceptions of management commitment to health and safety
- The extent of influence of H&S specialists
- Number training days/events in health and safety
- Effectiveness of health and safety training
- Number of risk assessments completed/reviewed
- The extent of compliance with risk controls
- The extent of compliance with statutory requirements
- Frequency of H&S audits
- Frequency of meeting and effectiveness of the H&S Committee
Information can be collected through site inspections, employee surveys, planned preventative maintenance and inspection of plant and equipment; environmental monitoring, health surveillance, review of documentation/procedures, workplace observations and audits and through staff appraisals.
Reactive Monitoring Data Examples: –
- Unsafe acts
- Unsafe conditions
- Near misses
- Damage only accidents
- Lost time accidents
- Reportable accidents
- Enforcement action
How to measure Health and Safety performance?
Information is collected through analysis of available data and can be measured against industry standards or as incidence/frequency rates.
The formula for calculating your accident frequency rate is the number of reported accidents multiplied by 200,000, divided by the number of employee hours worked, e.g.-
Number of Reported Accidents x 200,000
Number of Employee Hours Worked
The number of reported accidents is derived from your operations, as is the total hours worked, while the number 200,000 is used in a number of safety KPI’s to standardise the AFR and express it as the number of accidents per 100 employees (200,000 equals 40 hours per week x 100 employees x 50 weeks per year).
A worked example where a company has had 4 recorded accidents and a total of 115,000 hours worked across the company would look like this: –
(4 reported accidents x 200,000) / 115,000 = 6.95 (accidents per 100 employees)
Where to include Health and Safety reporting?
Monitoring and reviewing performance should be an ongoing activity and form the basis of regular reports to the Board, Senior Management and the Health and Safety Committee. Regular monitoring allows the early identification of trends or issues and active implementation of corrective measures.
The preparation of an annual report can show how progress has been made and assist in reviewing and refining the health and safety objectives and performance measures.
If you would like to further discuss how to effectively monitor and report on health and safety in your organisation, or get a free H&S ‘Health Check’, the FD People team are more than happy to help. Please get in touch by emailing email@example.com or by calling 0141 221 2984.