Nobody wants an accident in the workplace, and it is one of the key responsibilities of managers to minimise the potential for this to happen. Whilst the law recognises that it will often be impossible to completely remove every single possible danger from the workplace, managers need to take all the steps required which are reasonably practical to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of not only their employees, but also other groups who may be affected by the business's operations and activities. These groups include site visitors, people living nearby, and also the plant and animal life in the local environment which may be harmed through the release of pollution or waste from the company.
There are many actions which need to be undertaken by managers in order to create a safe place of work. For one thing, managers need to be suitably trained regarding their responsibilities towards the different groups listed above. They also need to facilitate appropriate health and safety training for their staff members to provide them with more knowledge and reduce the probability of them causing an accident which can endanger the health and safety of themselves or those around them. Without suitable safety training employees may not be fully aware of the risks associated with the work and activities which they are carrying out, or the correct and safe way to perform them. This is particularly the case for certain topics like hazardous substances/COSHH where, without training, workers may not be aware of the particular dangers and risks to their health which the substances they are working with or near could cause them, or the appropriate action in an emergency situation involving those substances.
As well as getting themselves and their employees suitably trained regarding health and safety matters, managers also need to undertake risk assessments on a regular basis and to an acceptable standard of thoroughness. Without this, potential dangers to health and safety are likely to go unnoticed, and necessary changes to processes, equipment, protective clothing or working practices cannot be made which could have prevented somebody from coming to harm and being injured or made ill.
The managers and directors of a company also need to implement and actively promote a positive health and safety culture within the business. If they are not seen to take health and safety matters seriously, then employees will not either. It is especially important that managers do not deliberately or inadvertently encourage employees to circumvent procedures or safety measures which have been put in place to protect them from harm in order to safe time, reduce costs or try to fulfil tight deadlines.