Everyone Deserves To Be Safe

Why we live and breathe health and safety
Written by Nahim Yakub

Why we live and breathe health and safety

I’m often asked why I’m so passionate about health and safety. Once when out driving my rather modest car, my six year old son said: “Dad you are not wearing your seatbelt: you could get hurt, I could get hurt, other people on the road could get hurt and you are breaking the law!” There in a nutshell is the motivation for my health and safety work at Emerging Futures.

LACORS, HHSRS, HASAWA 1974, HA 2004, LTA 1985: these terms are becoming increasingly familiar to those working in the sector but writing about this topic without overwhelming the general reader with technical jargon and complex legislation is difficult. At Emerging Futures we meet and where possible exceed all the required standards and legislation, but what I really want to convey is why we put such a high priority on this and why we consider health and safety to be the responsibility of everyone in the organisation.

A robust strategy

Many businesses pay lip service to health and safety to avoid financial and legal penalties. At Emerging Futures we are fully aware of the challenges involved in balancing the technical safety of our people while trying to survive in a sector suffering large-scale funding cuts. We have developed a robust health and safety strategy that meets our legal and financial imperatives but also expresses our core values of respect, integrity and accountability in its aim to protect and promote the health, safety and wellbeing of our people and everyone we work with.

Our 180 staff provide housing and associated therapeutic services to over 300 service users across many sites and are encouraged to see health and safety as part of their role. Over the last 12 months all our front-line managers have achieved IOSH Manging Safely Level 2. This enables them to contribute to organisational policy, practice, compliance, risk assessment and audit of safety standards. An online health and safety management system, regular management meetings and reviews bring all aspects of our strategy together.

Effective treatment

We know that people succeed when they feel safe and supported and we want our work environments to not only be safe and fit for purpose as workplaces but also welcoming, comfortable and enjoyable for our service users to live in as their homes. Putting health and safety at the top of our agenda means we can be confident that our therapeutic environment offers service users the best possible chance of success. That is why health and safety is so important and why it involves us all.

Health and safety never stops

Keeping people safe is an evolving requirement and there is always more to do, but our current investment in both the letter and the spirit of health and safety law means we are now well positioned to provide a safe, healthy and happy environment where staff and service users alike can flourish and achieve.

There is no end to this process – it is an ongoing project and a job that never stops. As somebody once said: #nevergivehealthandsafetyadayoff