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Health and Safety (H&S) has not been a vital element in StrathgammonEstate Group Ltd (SEG) and its subsidiary companies. This has resulted in the growth of a negative H&S culture in the whole organisation This culture is a result of many years of ignoring the importance of H&S, no proper communication channels among a company and companies as a whole, no central operating team to supervise the H&S in the group, no allocation in of H&S in business decisions, lack of adequate participation of the senior management in the cultivation of a positive H&S culture.
Research and analysis has been conducted in several companies and by international standards we seem to be in the Reactive stage, that is, second to last and this concludes that a more in depth studies have to be done, by a dedicated team and produce their finding for immediate action by the board.
The results obtained are adequate for a proposed plan to be put in place and estimated goals to be realised. Our fist agenda been, the proposing of a new H&S slogan - Health and Safety is a way of life in Strathgammon Estate Group Ltd. This will give a definite goal in which the management and the workforce can work as one to be achieved in a span of three years, with first fruits realised after two years.
The initial cost and efforts needed to achieve the Generative culture will be substantial but after the target has been achieved, the culture will be self driven/sustaining accumulating to greater saving in the times to come - accurate estimates will be given once the proposed plan is in effect.
The economic benefits of a self sustaining H&S extend from less insurance premiums, better productivity among workers - as they feel cared for, better reputation among clients and potential clients, repeated business from clients, reduced overall costs in business decision as there are few accidents, less threat of litigation, and avoiding project delay or cancellations.
It should be noted that H&S culture may not be the same across all the parts of a large organisation such as SEG and this report communicates "minimum acceptable standards" across all business sectors of SEG and appropriate steps should be established for the cultures of the specific business units selected.
Our research suggests that for the 3 year target to be achieved, there are immediatesteps that need to be put in place.
Establish a dedicated team to report to the CEO and Senior Management, immediate appointing of representatives in each company, immediate training to management and workforce on basic H&S protocols, and mandatory H&S induction on new members, immediate communication to the clients' of the proposed H&S measures and review of the above in the first four months, and second review before the board report after four more months.
The newly proposed slogan and a the suggested Generative culture should communicated and backup by the Board, Senior Management and the Managers in a span of 8 months, where we have predicted that a positive atmosphere will be reached, and the whole organisation will have reached a H&S maturity to fully understand and appreciate the essence of attaining that goal.
After the review of the board, they should communicate/publish their results and adopt the proposed H&S slogan.
2.1 This report has been created for Thomas Neville - CEO, and the Senior Management of StrathgammonEstate Group Ltd (SEG), to highlight the threat, importance, implementation and practical application as well as sustainability of positive Health and Safety (H&S) Culture.
2.2 This report is aimed at analysing the current H&S Protocols in SEG and their objectives and policies, and review and communicate suggested systems and methods that can be practical, economical and be successfully implemented, followed upon, monitored and revised on the Parent company - and its subsidiary companies.
2.3 We shall identify the economic benefits and potential of a positive H&S culture to individual companies as well as a group and how a positive H&S culture will successfully influence directly and indirectly the achievement of Revenue Goals and Targets, set by SEG board and Senior Management and effectively communicate the results to the shareholders.
2.4 The Major economic benefits of adapting a positive H&S culture to individual companies can be summarised as:
Better reputation for corporate responsibilities among investors, clients and potential clients and communities
Increased productivity among the employees, by been healthier, happier and better motivated.
Improvedstanding among suppliers and partners
Reduced costs and reduced risks employee absence and turnover rates are lower, accidents are fewer
The threat of legal action is lessened
Avoiding Loss of time in projects due to investigations or even complete stopping of project
Lower insurance premiums
Avoiding Equipment damage or loss
Avoiding Certification Cancellation
Loss of working days which result to loss of revenue
Additionally, the report will justify the targeted environment where the newly proposed H&S Slogan - Health and Safety is a way of life in Strathgammon Estate Group Ltd, will be applicable.
MODERN THREATS AND CHALLENGES ON H&S IN THE WORPLACE
H&S is a tool put in place to pave way for a smooth running of the business with maximum efficiency, at the same time maintaining equilibrium of legal and moral standards to the organisations management, workforce, plant and community.
H&S when incorporated into the business it evolutes into a Culture - Culture may be defined as the attitudes, values and beliefs that underpin "the way we do things in here".
H&S culture should be an integral part of the organisation's culture, values and performance standards.A positive H&S culture is primarily sustained by trust, credibility and behaviour primarily of senior leaders.
Failure to include H&S as a key business risk in board decisions can have negative revenue and non- revenue results.
The main threats being loss of life, loss of revenue, loss of credibility in the market, loss of certification, delay or complete stop of the project, no repeated business, legal action, high insurance premiums,
Which can be contributed due to, pour communication of H&S values, hiring of incompetent employees, lack of management commitment to H&S, no central H&S administration among the group among others.
With a positive H&S culture all this threats can be minimised. To achieve this we need to examine our current H&S culture and try and work on promoting a culture that takes advantage of the full potential of H&S.
There are five internationally recognised H&S cultures as illustrated in the figure 1.0
Figure 1.0 represents the different levels of H&S Cultures. From initial stage (Pathological) to fully mature self driven (Generative) H&S culture.
From initial studies and research performed by the newly appointed H&S team, we found out that SEG is in the Reactive Stage.
This was concluded after visiting several independent companies and identifying what their views, perception and priority they gave to H&S.
Case one: in Neville Construction Ltd 2009 fatality, after initial investigations by H&S officials they pointed "pour culture of Health and Safety" and made "15 recommendations to improve the situation".
Case two: in PNJ Ltd, there is a workforce of eighty-five been supervised by one person - Harry Soamers, who is a member of the board in the company.
Case Three: in the Production layout of the timber plant, there is no fire system or fire protocol in place, in an environment where there is a flammable material - Timber/wood.
Case four:in Kessner Waldpodukt GmbH there were only two people supervising a workforce of twenty two, a Manager and an assistant manager.
This among other studies highlighted a negative H&S culture in SEG, thus requiring an immediate revision of H&S protocols and systems.
For an effective revision we should tackle this from the roots, a H&S culture develops in stages, the foundation been informative and trust.
It is not possible to improve the culture directly, instead it is necessary to work at improving factors that can have a positive influence on culture like:
Define clear lines between the acceptable and the unacceptable behaviors in the workplace
Reward people who go beyond the normal and who may expose themselves
Develop good safety habits
Increase the amount of time managers spend visiting the workplace (not justafter an accident)
Improve managers non-technical skills (e.g. communication)
Increase levels of workforce participation in safety related problems andsolutions
Promote good job satisfaction and moral
Promote a 'just culture' where blame is only used where someone takesreckless risks
Implement a competence assurance program to ensure everyone throughout theorganization has the skills they need to work safely.
We shall evaluate the change of the H&S atmosphere to a more positive by;
Visible management commitment at all levels in the organization;
Good knowledge and understanding of health and safety throughout theOrganization;
Clear definition of the culture that is desired.
4.0 I MPELEMENTATION, SYSTEMS AND SUSTAINABILITY
OF A POSITVE H&S CULTURE
The Reactive step being a low level of H&S culture, SEG should aim at growing to the Generative culture, which is a self driven culture.
With a clear goal in place, implementations techniques should be introduced in steps, and be closely monitored and revised to trap the maximum potential of the SEG and its subsidiary companies.
Step one; will be the most vital as, this will target the Senior Management to integrate a good H&S management to their business decision making. The Senior Management should fully understand and appreciate the role of the H&S culture in the Organisation.
They can commence by portraying a visible, active commitment from the Board of Directors and Senior Management, to the lower management by applying H&S in the business decisions at individual company levelthat is, Senior Management - Managers - Supervisors - Workforce.
This can be achieved by - Monitoring, reporting and reviewing performance;
Accessing and following competent advice;
Step two- engagingthe workforce in the promotion and achievement of H&S conditions through effective "upward" communication, that is, Workforce - Supervisors - Managers - Senior Management.
This can be achieved by - involving the Management with the workforce in high quality H&S training;
Identifying and managing H&S risks.
Step three;by attaining the desired results in the parent company it can then be reflected positively and fairly to the subsidiary companies with minimum interruptions on their day to day business,
That can be attained by beginning to Provide H&S training to all the SMT and Managers of individual companies to promote understanding and knowledge of H&S goal - incorporating a self suntanned, self driven culture to business decisions.
This will successfully be achieved by;
The presence of a SMT in the major training practices can send a strong signal that the issue is being taken seriously and that its strategic importance is understood;
CEO assigning H&S responsibilities to individual companies directors;
Monthly reports of H&S going from the managers to the Senior Managers to the CEO and the board for reviews;
After the Board have reviewed then we should apply practical and efficient tools to achieve the goals;
Use effective Communication. This can take the form of meetings, seminars, distribution of flyers, email, verbal ;
Provision of incentives to good promoters of H&S on the workforce;
Continuous regulation and checking of the H&S systems in place;
Promoting discipline in the workforce;
Hiring of competent workforce;
Having procurement standards for goods, equipment and services can help prevent the introduction of expensive H&S hazards.
Step four:the aim of this step will be sustaining the positive status of H&S through Management systems and working into climbing to the next culture till we reach the stage where H&S is a "living culture" and self driving entity to the company and thus fulfil the newly proposed H&S motto - Health and Safety is a way of life in Strathgammon Estate Group Ltd.
Management systems can be outlines as:
Performance Incentives systems;
Behaviour control systems;
H&S communications policies and systems;
Risk control systems
Management &Control systems
CORPORATE H&S COMMUNICATION TO SHAREHOLDERS
When the Positive H&S atmosphere turns into a positive environment in SEG, the H&S team can integrate the H&S culture to the subsidiaries companies to meet the necessary required goals.
This can be achieved by producing Board estimate targets, obtained from the reporting systems, and passing them along to the respective managers for analysis.
Additionally, the board can establish a Group H&S team dedicated to the developing, implementing and sustaining a positive H&S culture in SEG and the groups.
This team will then coordinate with individual company's safety teams and work towards obtaining a mutual goal or fulfilling the newly proposed H&S Motto -Health and Safety is a way of life in Strathgammon Estate Group Ltd
The application of H&S culture will result to positive business. This can be communicated to the share holders in form of statistics based on: daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reports generated for the board
This will be as a result of better H&S records that the client can review and comment resulting to better reputation, increase productivity and morale among employees, reduced costs and risks on employee absence and turnover rate, reduced cost in legal actions, avoiding delays or stoppages of projects or business ventures, reduced insurance premiums, and maintaining certifications among others.
With the statistics and reports in place the shareholders can appreciate the importance of H&S culture, thus strengthening their confidence in the management and individual business ventures.