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5.1 Unit IA: Managing health and safety
Aim of the unit
This unit provides learners with a thorough grounding in all major aspects of managing health and safety. It aims to prepare learners for a career in health and safety by providing them with the ability to apply their knowledge and understanding of health and safety management issues in the workplace. In addition, this knowledge and understanding prepares learners for the written question paper assessment in Unit IA and the practical application (Unit DNI) which will be carried out in their own workplace.
IA9.1 Explain the role of the health and safety practitioner
IA9.2 Explain the importance of effective communication and negotiation skills when promoting health and safety
IA9.3 Outline how health and safety practitioners can use financial justification to aid decision making.
IA9.1 The role of the health and safety practitioner
• The role of the health and safety practitioner and the potential conflicts that this role brings ie, who the practitioner is there to protect; employees, employers or third parties
• The meaning of the term ‘competence’ and the importance of a health and safety practitioner recognising the limits of their own competence
• The need for health and safety practitioners to evaluate and develop their own practice so as to maintain competence
• The role of the health and safety practitioner in mentoring and supporting the development of health and safety competency in other relevant employees
• The distinction between leadership and management and how this can apply to a health and safety practitioner
• The need to adopt to different management styles dependent on any given situation
• The role of health and safety practitioners in the development, implementation, maintenance and evaluation of health and safety management systems
• Sensible risk management including the importance of proportionality when assessing and controlling risk
• The health and safety practitioner’s role in enabling work activities as part of proportionate and sensible risk management
• Organisational risk profiling; its purpose, practicality and organisational context
• The contribution of the health and safety practitioner in achieving the objectives of an organisation
• The meaning of the term ‘ethics’
• The practical application of ethical principles (ie, honesty, respect, integrity, personal conflicts of interest) that underpin professional health and safety practitioner codes of conduct.
IA9.2 The importance of effective communication and negotiations skills when promoting health and safety
• Why effective communication is important
• The need for health and safety practitioners to consult and negotiate with others when developing an organisation’s health and safety objectives
• Influencing ownership of health and safety at all levels of an organisation via:
- management accountability
• The importance of receiving, and acting on feedback from all stakeholders on health and safety performance
• The use of different methods of communication media available to promote the health and safety message ie, verbal, electronic, printed, pictorial and social
• Procedures for resolving conflict and introducing change
• Ensuring roles and responsibilities are clear, understood by all workers and implemented.
IA9.3 The Health and safety practitioner’s use of financial justification to aid decision making
• The significance of budgetary responsibility, including profit, loss and payback analysis
• Importance of recognising who is the responsible budget holder and how they can be influenced to make appropriate health and safety decisions
• Cost-benefit analysis in relation to risk control decisions (organisational, design, planning, operational)
• The internal and external sources of information that should be considered when determining costs
• The necessity of both short and long term budgetary planning when seeking approval for new initiatives, projects and campaigns.
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