Factors to consider

Many factors affect how you can engage your employees:

The business

  • Structure of the business
  • Management style
  • Organisational and safety cultures
  • Trade union recognition and employment relations

The workplace

  • Size of workplace
  • Location of sites
  • Types of work done
  • Degree and nature of inherent dangers

The workforce

  • Size of workforce
  • Diversity of the workforce
  • Employment structures (for example, direct employees, agency and contract workers)
  • Work patterns (for example, shift systems, part-time working)
  • Offsite, remote or mobile workers.

Questions you will need to ask yourself include:

  • Do we consult individuals or representatives?
  • How do we consult them?
  • How can we organise inspections and investigations?
  • How can we co-ordinate between committees?

For example:

A high-risk workplace with a large unionised workforce spread over multiple sites may have trade union representatives from different sites as members of a site-based health and safety committee that meets regularly, and feeds into a corporate health and safety committee.

A non-unionised smaller workplace located on one small, low-risk site, is more likely to consult directly with employees on a day-to-day basis.

Case study: BSkyB

BSkyB created a single forum for the whole business bringing together separate structures that had previously engaged with staff at their cross UK workplaces. They established an effective two-way communication channels that "plugged in" employees from all over the UK and created a partnership between management and employees...

Read the BSkyB case study

See also

BSkyB case study

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