COSHH and leading by example.
Train To Safety has just carried out some basic COSHH training for a large organisation, putting about 140 people through a 2-hour course over a number of weeks.
The knowledge content is basic, as it isn’t intended to equip people to carry out COSHH Risk Assessments, but as awareness-raising for all those who come into contact with hazardous substances, which of course, is pretty much everyone.
Besides knowledge, there were a few other things we considered to be important. For one thing, it seemed that relatively few people had much idea about their own duties under the Law, e.g. to co-operate with the Employer, or to report defects and shortcomings.
Some other important issues arose during informal discussion, such as the nature of supervision, the need for instruction and information, and the general concept of compliance and engagement.
Somewhat surprisingly, in view of the relative lack of understanding of employees’ own legal duties, there was a general feeling, though not shared by everyone, that there was a need for greater leadership, and in particular, for leading by example.
It seems that, for this group of employees there was a widespread desire to be led. Our life experience has maybe taught us that good leaders are few and far between, but perhaps this isn’t the case. Maybe it’s time for potential leaders to stop hiding their light under a bushel and step forward. It could be that the workforce is well and truly ready for it.
And for those who lead potential leaders, the Top Brass, so to speak, it’s time to start looking out for the people who can set the standard for others to follow, to identify them and to empower them.
This role in nurturing and growing talent within an organisation has long been recognised as one of the most important roles of senior managers. So come on Bosses, this should be one of your targets for 2018.