Person-centred health and safety

A lot of what we currently do to manage health and safety, we do because of the system we’ve designed to ensure legal compliance and/or meet a standard and important though many of these things are, it often feels like we lose sight of people in our attempts to stay true to the system.

At the same time, many organisations have a vision of a high-performing safety culture, where highly-engaged people look out for each other and collaborate and are solutions-focused.

The vibrant culture we aspire to have is not a natural output of the traditional health and safety management system and it’s unlikely to be achieved through higher levels of compliance alone. A parallel approach is required with distinctly different inputs.

What is ‘Person-centred’ health and safety? 

The term ‘person-centred’ is taken from person-centred therapy which is an approach to therapy developed by Dr. Carl Rogers in the 1940’s. As an approach, it diverged from the traditional model of the therapist as the expert advising the client and moved instead to a non-directive approach that empowered and motivated the client in the therapeutic process.

The term ‘person-centred health and safety’ reflects a real desire to empower and motivate people in the practice of managing health and safety.

Coaching too is person-centred. It is essentially a questioning and listening exercise in which the coach supports his/her colleagues or clients to explore a situation and find the best way forward.

The culture that many organisations aspire to have is essentially a coaching culture. At its core is a firm belief that people are resourceful and that developing people, empowering them to make better choices, is an intrinsic part of safeguarding their health and safety.

How do we become more ‘person-centred’? 

Generic approaches to developing a coaching culture are well documented and many share the same basic steps. However, being coaches, we don’t feel it’s our place to direct you or advise you to follow a pre-prescribed process by rote. We believe it’s our role to support you to find the best way forward for your organisation.

Please have a look at our short presentation above and if you would like to discuss how we can support you in achieving a more person-centred approach to health and safety, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Michael Emery

Michael Emery

Career OSH Practitioner and qualified coach

“Hello, I’m Michael Emery and as a career practitioner for almost 30-years, I know how challenging managing health and safety can be, for duty holders and for practitioners. As a qualified coach, accredited with the Academy of Executive Coaching (AoEC), I’ve seen time and again how coaching skills can change thinking and unlock possibilities.

Wherever you are in your health and safety journey, call now and let us help.”