Reflecting on survey results, what issues have priority for H&S professionals, and how can safety management systems help?
A New Year brings a sense of optimism and a desire to view things positively – we hope your own New Year resolutions are going well so far! Over the last few years, it won’t have escaped your notice that health and safety priorities have been evolving, and health and safety management systems have followed development roadmaps to reflect this.
IOSH published two articles based around this recently, and there are key messages that will resonate with many health and safety professionals striving to do their job well. The first of the “best wishes” articles questioned a small group of health and safety leaders about what they wished the OSH profession could do better and why.
While the responses were all insightful and unique, there was a common thread that can be summed up as “communication”. Feedback focused on putting people first and supporting their mental health and wellbeing, the need for management of remote work environments without invasion of privacy, raising professionalism to achieve Chartered status, and implementing OSH systems that meet ISO45001 standards. This is achieved by building a strong safety culture through communication and using tools that facilitate this.
The second IOSH article reported on the results of a survey of 200 H&S professionals asking the same question as the H&S leaders’ poll, and what they see as the priorities for 2022.
As you’d expect, the answers are wide-ranging, but summarised as follows:
Put a stronger focus on workers’ mental health
Be more open and engaging
Invest more in training
Develop a stronger health and safety culture at work
Raise awareness of the importance of workers’ safety and health.
The full article lays out peoples’ responses in more detail under these headings, and it’s clear that H&S professionals are passionate about their roles and want to see the profession evolve. Effective safety management tools are developing to keep pace with demand, offering a wide range of cloud-based services to achieve all these goals, such as topic-specific modules, task management tools, BI reporting, and mobile apps.
There is a strong focus on peoples’ mental health and wellbeing, as well as meeting the challenges of remote working while maintaining collaboration and teamwork. Now, more than ever, it is essential that business leaders prioritise investment in the communication tools that can help build their safety culture and keep their people safe and well.