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Section 1 Health & Safety Systems

Section 2 Reactive Procedures 


Description:  This unit explores the techniques, methods, statutory requirements and procedures associated with reactive monitoring of Health & Safety in the workplace.

Author:  Gates MacBain Associates

Section 1  Health & Safety Systems

Aims and Objectives

At the end of this section you should be able to:
  • Outline the aspects of Health & Safety which must be adopted by an organisation.

A company is required to establish a Health & Safety systems in order to comply with legislation and to protect the health and Safety of its’ workers and the public generally.   

Such systems include: 
  • Health & Safety Policy
  • Method Statements
  • Inductions
  • Site Rules
  • Training

Health & Safety Policy 

This is looked at in detail in the constructionsite unit ‘Health & Safety Policy and Systems’. This can be accessed from the link below.   

Method Statements 

This is a detailed schedule that considers proposals for carrying out the work and makes appropriate recommendations. It considers time, costs and technique for each method of carrying out the work and the resources necessary to perform the activities in the project. It also assesses and stresses the factors relevant to ensure that the work is carried out in a safe and efficient manner. Further information on Method Statements can be obtained by visiting the Method and Resource Statements section in the Planning & Control unit below.  


The purpose of the induction of employees joining a company is to: 
  • To introduce new staff to their environment.
  • To make them efficient in the shortest possible time.
  • Ensure they understand the rules and requirements of the company
  • Ensure they understand the procedures used by the company
It ensures that they are familiar with the requirements regarding Health and Safety and that they are briefed on these requirements.  

Site Rules 

These are the rules that apply to each site.  They are site specific and apply over and above the Health and Safety requirements laid down in the company policy.  


A good source of H&S training is available from the Health and Safety Training website linked to below.  

The above factors contribute to the promotion of a positive health and safety culture and this is dealt with in Chapter 4 of  the Health and Safety in Construction book shown below. Guidance on monitoring Health and Safety can be obtained from this book and also the ‘Monitoring Health & Safety’ website shown.  



  • Hughes, P, (2009) Introduction to Health and Safety in Construction; Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann (Chapter 1 – 4)

Constructionsite Units

Self-Assessment Task

  • Discus the aspects of Health & Safety which must be adopted by an organisation.

Section 2  Reactive Procedures

Aims and Objectives

At the end of this section you should be able to:
  • Explain the procedures used by an organisation to react to Health & Safety issues.

Part of the system should include procedures to monitor and to react to incidents which may occur and to continually assess the measures used in order to maintain and improve the systems used. The assessment  should be carried out on a regular basis.  

Systems Used

Incident Reporting 

The HSE has a requirement that the more serious incidents (See the ‘Reporting Incidents’ web link) are reported to them.  This can be done in a number of ways and guidance can be obtained on this from the ‘Reporting Incidents’ webpage. They also have electronic forms which are available online and a link to these is provided.   Most organisations have a system that records and investigates all incidents to ensure continuous improvement through correction, information or system update.   

Near Miss Reporting 

This is a system employed by companies in order to enable them to track any incidents which although they didn’t result in injury they did presented the risk which was narrowly averted.  The system involves providing notification of the event and its details being reviewed and any recommendations being implemented to prevent it ever happening.  

Risk Assessment Review 

Most organisations have a portfolio of generic risk assessments that address the hazards and risks associated with their general operations and methods or working.  The Risk Assessment review process recognises the need to adjust these to reflect changing circumstances and site specific hazards.  It also encourages the adoption of learning points from incident investigations, new practices and new technologies that improve safety.  


A safety audit is a demonstration of a commitment by management to improve safety at work. It is a proactive approach that identifies problem areas and helps judge how well safety is being managed. By identifying incidents and causes before they happen, working practices can be changed and unsafe action are prevented.  

Suggestions Schemes 

Incident prevention and good safety performance is greatly dependant on the safety culture within an organisation.  All employees should be encouraged to prevent harm to themselves and others and to ‘buy in’ to continuous improvement. Employees can be encouraged to make improvement suggestions or innovations to management/safety committee considering implementation, research, development when appropriate.  

Safety Committee 

The employer is required to consult with Safety Representatives to ensure that health and safety is promoted throughout the organisation, that health and safety arrangements are effective and that all employees are informed and can have their concerns heard. Members of a Safety Committee periodically sit with management representatives to jointly consider all aspects relevant to Health, Safety & Welfare in the workplace. Their terms of reference can include incident investigation, safety audits, training developments, safety communications, safe systems of work and the review of people’s concerns or recommendations.  

Health & Safety Surveillance 

This is process of periodic health review or medical examination where employment could expose people to an occupational disease or health risk under normal working conditions.  They are conducted by an occupational health nurse, doctor or medical adviser every 1, 2 or 3 years depending on the risks faced or an identified ill-health condition.  Recommendations by the medical team must be auctioned by the employer.   

Performance Reviews 

The constant and consistent measuring and monitoring of safety performance can demonstrate the benefits of good practice or help to alert management and employees to possible areas/activities.  It enables comparisons across the industry and demonstrates an improving safety culture or otherwise. The effectiveness of new procedures or initiatives are gauged and charts/graphs etc can be produced to give feedback and impetus towards achieving target performances.  Typical measures include Lost Time Incident Frequency Rate (LTIFR), Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR)  and incident Analysis by work type or region.  


  • Hughes, P, (2009) Introduction to Health and Safety in Construction; Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann (Chapter 7 & 8)

Self-Assessment Task

  • Suggest ways than can be adopted to assist in the recording and management of reactive Health and Safety issues.

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