The respondents also believed that premiums should be adjusted based on an organizations willingness to introduce and enforce health and safety standards.
5. Safety representatives-these representatives serve the purpose of serving notices or organizations when breaches in safety and health standards take place.
6. Occupational Health and Rehabilitation -- a significant percentage or respondents believe that there needs to be greater access to occupational health services for employees. The respondents also believed that there should be a "new focus on the provision of rehabilitation services for injured and sick workers."
7. Financial Incentives-finally the respondents believed that employees needed financial incentives to encourage cooperation as it pertains to health and safety standards.
The HSE used all of the information gathered to create new strategies for dealing with Health and Safety issues in the workplace. One of the primary trends that developed was that of enforcement. In an effort to have the capacity to enforce health and safety standards the HSE has developed a Enforcement Management Model (EMM).
According to the HSE this model serves as the foundation for inspectors as they make decisions about enforcement. These enforcement decisions have to be made in a manner that is compliance with the that HSC and the Enforcement Policy Statement (EPS). The EPS has established the "principles inspectors should apply when determining what enforcement action to take in response to breaches of health and safety legislation. Fundamental to this is the principle that enforcement action should be proportional to the health and safety risks and the seriousness of the breach."
EMM is used for three primary reasons. The first reason is to supply a foundation for the making stable decisions concerning enforcement . The second reason is to assist managers in examining the fairness and consistency of inspectors' enforcement decisions in line with the Commission's policy. The final purpose of to help inspectors that do not have a great deal of experience in making the appropriate decisions.
The EMM is essential because of the aforementioned reasons. The HSE, inspectors and organizations must work together to make systematic changes and to ensure compliance with established policies. Failure to do so can result in injuries and even death. The model is part of the process in ensuring that enforcement takes place so that health and safety in the workplace
The process of enforcement
The HSE has also established a process of enforcement. In fact inspectors who have the responsibility of enforcement utilize different strategies. These strategies are correlated with risks and compliance with established standards. These strategies are inclusive of presenting organizations with enforcement notices and offering advice to managers as it pertains to health and safety issues. In addition, inspectors have the power to initiate or recommend to the courts the type of punishment that offenders will receive with Health and safety laws are broken. Overall inspectors are responsible for issuing the proper type of enforcement depending upon the type of law that has been broken.
The article also explains that crown bodies are immune from statutory enforcement However HSE does have the authority to issue non-statutory improvement and prohibition notices. They also have the authority to censure Crown bodies in situations in which the body would have been prosecuted if they had not been a crown body.
The article asserts that enforcement decisions are difficult to make. This difficulty exist because each organization is special and as such "inspectors must have a thorough understanding of the hazards and control measures associated with each duty holder's activities. It is vital that inspectors have wide discretion to exercise their professional judgement, so that action appropriate to each situation can be taken."
All decisions associated with enforcement should not be biased. In addiiton such decisions must be done in accordance with the appropriate procedures and they must be warranted. As it pertains to this issue the EPS establishes the appropriate procedures that are to be used during enforcement. Enforcement action must also be consistent with the goals of the Enforcement Concordat which is managed by the Cabinet Office Better Regulation Unit. HSE and Local Authorities are public regulators, are accountable for managing the enforcement process.
Lastly the EMM -- presents HSE and LAs with a structure for making enforcement decisions that are consistent with the ideals set forth by the EPS. It includes all of the issues inspectors confront when "exercising their professional judgment and reflects the process by which enforcement decisions are reached."
Issues associated with Administrative costs
Another trend associated with HSE is the reduction of administrative costs associated with effective inspection and enforcement. HSE is committed to ensuring that unnecessary administrative costs are reduced so that health and safety standards can be met with more efficiency. According to an article entitled "Reducing administrative burdens: effective inspection and enforcement" the environment in which regulators function is changing. These changes are related to the pressures that organizations face as in pertains to operating in a more competitive global environment.
The article asserts that as a whole there are increased expectations that regulations can and will "protect consumers, businesses, workers and the environment, coupled with an increasing need to keep our businesses efficient and flexible to face new competitive challenges. Our regulatory system has the pivotal role in resolving the regular conflict between prosperity and protection."
The article also explains
"The enforcement of regulations affects businesses at least as much as the policy of the regulation itself. Efficient enforcement can support compliance across the whole range of businesses, delivering targeted, effective interventions without unreasonable administrative cost to business. Inflexible or inefficient enforcement increases administrative burdens needlessly, and thereby reduces the benefits that regulations can bring."
Administrative burdens are defined as the costs derived from enforcement activities.
The report explains that when regulators function properly, and use the best evidence to inform their work, administrative burdens on compliant businesses are decreased.
Overall there are many trends associated with the HSE. All of these trends are designed to better the health and safety of workers while they are on the job. This is a complex issue that demands complex solution and a great deal of thought. There are many strength and weaknesses associated with these trends which will be discussed in the following paragraphs.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The policies associated with trends in health and safety seem to be well thought out and geared toward the future. The policies are well-organized and seem all encompassing as it pertains to the different aspects of health and safety that an organization may be dealing with.
In addition HSE is committed to the enforcement of established standards and laws. Such enforcement will be instrumental in guaranteeing that certain changes occur as it pertains the reduction of injury and death in the workplace.
The HSE is also committed to reducing that administrative costs associated with regulating Health and Safety in the workplace. This is a major strength associated with the current trends of the organization because it takes into consideration how administrative costs effect the ability to enforce health and safety laws and standards.
The major weaknesses associated with the trends established by the HSE is that they are not as seamless. That is, these trends could be better coordinated so that there is more fluency and so that enforcement is simpler and more consistent.
Recommendations for Improvement
It is recommended that the HSE do everything in its power to educate employers and employees concerning health and safety regulations. Understanding the standards associated with Health and safety is vitally important to ensuring that people are not injured or killed in the workplace. Once organizations are thoroughly educated concerning health and safety issues they can take to proper steps in ensuring that all the standards are met. This in turn will help in further reducing the number of job related injuries.
The process of educating employers is also important so that the employers can take the appropriate steps to come into compliance. It is also important as it pertains to budget concerns. Understanding what is expected allows employers to set aside resources so that safety and health standards can be met in a timely and efficient manner.
Current trends seem not to place great emphasis on the communication between organizations/employers and the HSE. This is why it is recommended that a greater level of education take place. The HSE should make a concerted effort to provide such education in collaboration with insurance companies, who benefit greatly when there are fewer accidents.
As it pertains to enforcement there must be a great deal of consistency amongst authorities. The HSE has to be consistent with the manner in which inspections take place and the penalties that are incurred. Consistency is important because it leads to greater levels of compliance.
The purpose of this discussion is to examine the recent trends in HSE enforcement policies and critically assess their strengths and weaknesses. The research found that there are…