Gap Analysis

Most companies have a policy commitment to comply with all health and safety regulations. Some talk about it being the minimum they will accept, others talk about beyond compliance and the pursuit of excellence. Whichever is the case, it’s logical to suppose that at some point all companies are going to have to carry out an assessment of their legal compliance. A client paid a nationwide health and safety consultancy – one of the big boys, virtually a household name in safety terms – a considerable amount of money for a regulatory gap analysis. The auditors used no questionnaire or prompt sheet and the report they submitted was deeply unsatisfactory. Subsequently I worked with the client to develop a list of applicable legal requirements and then assisted the client’s own employees, mainly supervisors and trades union safety representatives, to carry out the assessment. Ultimately each department possessed a comprehensive state of the nation report containing a body of evidence – including records and photographs – outlining clearly their current regulatory status. It’s not the sort of thing you do every day but it’s a fantastic exercise for raising awareness, engaging with employees and providing a springboard for future...

If there was one piece of advice

A former colleague recently started his first Health & Safety Manager job for a small manufacturer in the North West. He’s been a practitioner for some years but this would be the first time he’s been at the helm, ploughing his own furrow so to speak. When I spoke to him this week the reality of the task was just setting in. He asked me what my one piece of advice for him would be and I didn’t really have to think that long before giving an answer. Better health and safety performance in the long run comes from developing the sort of arrangements required by the Management Regs. There will always be other people’s fires to fight but a Health & Safety Manager needs a compass to keep him on the path and prevent him from chasing his own tail. I reminded him of the step-by-step process that can be found elsewhere on this site and we talked about some of the things we’d worked on together over the years. He seemed reassured. He called again the following day. His boss had agreed to pay me for mentoring and coaching him 1-day a month until further notice. I’m really looking forward to...