Element IA7: Organisational factors

Element IA7: Organisational factors

5.1 Unit IA: Managing health and safety

Aim of the unit

This unit provides learners with a thorough grounding in all major aspects of managing health and safety. It aims to prepare learners for a career in health and safety by providing them with the ability to apply their knowledge and understanding of health and safety management issues in the workplace. In addition, this knowledge and understanding prepares learners for the written question paper assessment in Unit IA and the practical application (Unit DNI) which will be carried out in their own workplace.

Learning outcomes

IA7.1 Explain the types of health and safety leadership, their advantages; disadvantages and likely impact on safety performance

IA7.2 Explain the organisational benefits of effective health and safety leadership

IA7.3 Explain the internal and external influences on health and safety in an organisation

IA7.4 Outline the different types of organisation, their structure, function and the concept of the organisation as a system

IA7.5 Explain the requirements for managing third parties in the workplace

IA7.6 Explain the role, influences on and procedures for formal and informal consultation with workers in the workplace

IA7.7 Explain health and safety culture and climate

IA7.8 Outline the factors which can both positively and negatively affect health and safety culture and climate.


IA7.1 Types of safety leadership and their likely impact on health and safety performance

• The meaning of safety leadership

• Types of safety leadership, their advantages, disadvantages and likely impact on safety performance: - transformational

- transactional

- servant

- situational and contextual (Hersey and Blanchard)

• Behavioural attributes of an effective leader.

IA7.2 Benefits of effective health and safety leadership

• Leadership as a core element of effective health and safety management

• Benefits of effective safety leadership on the health and safety culture and performance of an organisation

• The link between effective leadership and employee engagement

• The role of both an organisation and a health and safety practitioner in encouraging positive leadership and supporting managers at all levels to exhibit commitment to a safe and healthy workplace

• Influence of corporate social responsibility and business ethics on health and safety management.

IA7.3 Internal and external influences

• The internal influences on health and safety within an organisation eg, finance, production targets, trade unions/labour unions, organisational goals and culture

• The external influences on health and safety within an organisation eg, legislation, enforcement agencies, courts/tribunals, contracts, clients/contractors, trade unions, insurance companies, public opinion.

IA7.4 Types of organisations

• The concept of the organisation as a system

• Organisational structures and functions – including formal and informal; large or small; organisation charts, role of management, hierarchical vs flat management structures

• Potential conflict between organisational goals and the goals of the individual

• The integration of the goals of the organisation with the needs of the individual – authority, responsibility, accountability.

IA7.5 Third party control

• Identifying third parties: contractors, agency workers other employers (shared premises)

• Reasons for ensuring that third parties are covered by health and safety management systems

• Basic duties owed to and by third parties

• Internal rules and procedures concerned with the selection, appointment and control of contractors

• Responsibilities for control of risk associated with contractors and visitors

• Reasons for providing information relating to hazards/risks to third parties

• Review of contractor performance.

IA7.6 Consultation with workers

• The role of consultation within the workplace with reference to principles laid down in ILO Occupational Safety and Health Convention (C155), Article 20 and ILO Occupational Safety and Health Recommendation (R164)

• Formal consultation:

- functions of worker representatives on health and safety

- functions of a safety committee

- formal consultation directly with workers

• Informal consultation:

- discussion groups, safety circles, departmental meetings, worker discussion, email and web-based forums

• Behavioural aspects associated with consultation – peer group pressures, danger of tokenism, potential areas of conflict

• The role of the health and safety practitioner in the consultative process.

IA7.7 Health and safety culture and climate

• The meaning of ‘health and safety culture’ and ‘health and safety climate’

• The influence of health and safety culture on behaviour and the effect of peer group pressure and norms

• The impact of organisational cultural factors and associated values on individual behaviour

• Indicators of culture

• The correlation between health and safety culture/climate and health and safety performance; the subjective and objective nature of culture and climate

• The measurement of the health and safety culture and climate (ie, safety climate assessment tools, perception surveys, findings of accident/incident investigations, effectiveness of communication, evidence of commitment by workers at all levels in the organisation).

IA7.8 Factors affecting health and safety culture and climate

• Factors that may promote a positive health and safety culture or climate (eg, management commitment and leadership, high business profile of health and safety, provision of information, involvement and consultation, training, promotion of ownership, setting and meeting targets)

• Factors that may promote a negative health and safety culture or climate (eg, organisational change, lack of confidence in organisation’s objectives and methods, uncertainty, management decisions that prejudice mutual trust or lead to confusion regarding commitment)

• Effecting change: planning and communication, strong leadership, the need for a gradualist (step-by-step) approach, direct and indirect action to promote change (including cultural benefits from risk assessment), strong worker engagement, training and performance measurements and the importance of feedback

• Problems and pitfalls (ie, attempts to change culture too rapidly, adopting too broad an approach, absence of trust in communications, resistance to change).

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