Manager training cuts accidents by a third

Perth
& Kinross Council has reduced the number of accidents among its staff by a
third in four years.

The
council has achieved this by training its senior managers to improve their
awareness of health and safety issues and

creating
a manual of its health and safety procedures, which is distributed to all of
its working sites. The manual is updated and distributed every six months so
managers are aware of any new developments.

All
council working sites are given different risk ratings and those in the high-risk
bracket, which include secondary schools and construction sites, are inspected
annually.

Nearly
50 high risk-site managers have been put through an internal safety course in
the past two years.

Directors
from the council’s 12 service departments also have to present an annual report
to the authority’s corporate health and safety committee outlining the
achievements of the past year and the action plan for the next.

A
bi-monthly bulletin is sent out to all managers highlighting recent health and
safety cases and best practice guidelines.

As
a result of these initiatives, the council’s reported injuries have reduced
from 29 in 1997 to 18 this year, despite an increase in the number of council
staff from 4,000 to 5,000 over the four-year period.

Neil
Doherty, health and safety adviser for the Scottish council, believes that it
is the involvement of council directors that has made the clampdown such a
success.

"The
key element in the scheme’s success is the involvement and role of the elected
members and council’s directors. This has shown that the council does take
health and safety seriously," said Doherty.

By Paul Nelson

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