Monitoring and reporting are vital parts of a health and safety culture. Management systems must allow the board to receive both specific (eg incident-led) and routine reports on the performance of health and safety policy.
Much day-to-day health and safety information need be reported only at the time of a formal review. But only a strong system of monitoring can ensure that the formal review can proceed as planned – and that relevant events in the interim are brought to the board's attention.
The board should ensure that:
- appropriate weight is given to reporting both preventive information (such as progress of training and maintenance programmes) and incident data (such as accident and sickness absence rates);
- periodic audits of the effectiveness of management structures and risk controls for health and safety are carried out;
- the impact of changes such as the introduction of new procedures, work processes or products, or any major health and safety failure, is reported as soon as possible to the board;
- there are procedures to implement new and changed legal requirements and to consider other external developments and events
How can it be done
- Effective monitoring of sickness absence and workplace health can alert the board to underlying problems that could seriously damage performance or result in accidents and long-term illness.
- The collection of workplace health and safety data can allow the board to benchmark the organisation's performance against others in its sector.
- Appraisals of senior managers can include an assessment of their contribution to health and safety performance.
- Boards can receive regular reports on the health and safety performance and actions of contractors.
- Some organisations have found they win greater support for health and safety by involving workers in monitoring.
Case study: The directors of a fire and rescue service were able to significantly reduce insurance premiums, injuries and the amount of sickness absence.