Businesses are being urged to ensure that their line managers receive adequate OHS training after a UK survey found one in five companies don’t train their line managers in health and safety.
A YouGov and IOSH survey of nearly 700 company decision-makers found that 19 per cent don’t train their line manages, and 21 per cent said investigations into accidents had shown management failure was a contributing factor.
Ironically, 96 per cent of respondents agreed that line managers were important in ensuring the people they directly manage were safe and healthy in the workplace.
The report, How to manage your people safely, also touched on the growing evidence within the business community of the returns from investment in workplace safety and health.
Decision-makers were asked whether investing in externally-provided health and safety courses drove business benefits, with 82 per cent saying it did.
Of those, 39 per cent said they had experienced a reduction in lost time because of accidents, 36 per cent said their reputation within their supply chain had been enhanced, and 30 per cent said they had recorded increased productivity because of fewer accidents.
IOSH head of advice and practice, Duncan Spencer, said that all managers needed different health and safety competence for their role, which needed underpinning with useful training they can apply in practice.
“As with all risk, management is accountable for delivering a safe workforce and performance – first-line managers for ensuring controls are implemented and middle managers for providing the resources to deliver controls and the leadership for setting direction.”
“Without this training, how do these line managers know how to properly assess if something could cause an accident or could harm someone’s health? How can they know what they need to do if there is a health and safety risk?”
Spencer went on to warn how critical this training was during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“As businesses across sectors are reopening premises, they must manage an array of risks. They have to ensure their workplaces manage the threat of COVID-19 transmission while also continuing to provide measures to prevent all other hazards. Again, line managers are key here.”