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Core elements of managing for health and safety

Organisations have a legal duty to put in place suitable arrangements to manage for health and safety. As this can be viewed as a wide-ranging, general requirement HSE encourages a common-sense and practical approach. It should be part of the everyday process of running an organisation and an integral part of workplace behaviours and attitudes.

Whatever your industry, or the size or nature of your organisation, the keys to effectively managing for health and safety are:

HSE advocates that all of these elements, underpinned by an understanding of the profile of risks the organisation creates or faces, are needed. This links back to wider risk management and can be pictured in the following diagram:

Managing business risks flow chart

Successful delivery can rarely be achieved by one-off interventions. A sustained and systematic approach is necessary.

This may not require a formal health and safety management system but, whatever approach is used, it probably contains the steps Plan, Do, Check, Act Previous HSE guidance has used a single model: Policy, Organising, Planning, Measuring, Auditing and Reviewing (POPMAR). This remains an option but HSE’s approach is now to read across more directly between management generally and health and safety management, and in doing that recognise alternatives that achieve the same outcome. (Act means to learn and improve from experience). However, the success of whatever process or system is in place hinges on the attitudes and behaviours of people in the organisation.

Updated 2013-05-14