Sensible Risk Management
‘Health and Safety’ often gets a bit of a bad press, with the phrase ‘health and safety gone mad!’ never too far away. In this article, we’re looking at what sensible risk management means – and perhaps more importantly, what it isn’t about.
Sensible risk management is about:
- Making sure that workers and members of the public are properly protected
- Enabling activities that lead to innovation and learning – not stifling them
- Making sure that those who create risks are managing them responsibly, and ensuring that they understand that failure to do so is likely to lead to action
- Providing an overall benefit to society by balancing benefits and risks
- Focusing on reducing significant risks – those which arise more often, and those with serious consequences.
- Enabling individuals to understand that as well as having the right to protection, they also have a duty to exercise responsibility.
Sensible risk management is NOT about:
- Reducing the protection of people from real risks that cause real harm
- Scaring people by exaggerating or publicising trivial risks
- Stopping activities where the risks are managed
- Creating a totally risk-free society
- Generating useless paperwork mountains
- Stopping all activities that might possibly lead to harm
The HSE have said:
If you believe some of the stories you hear, health and safety is all about stopping any activity that might possibly lead to harm. This is not our vision of sensible health and safety – we want to save lives, not stop them.
Take a look at the HSE’s Myth Buster Challenge Panel, that sets the record straight on ‘bogus’ health and safety decisions.
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