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Health & safety managers have a lot on their plate

23 January 2013

Some new research shoes that the average health & safety manager has to juggle over 30 different priorities during the course of their work...

Health and safety managers have to juggle over 30 different priorities during the course of their work, according to research by Aviva Risk Management Solutions (ARMS).

Aviva Risk Management Solutions (ARMS) asked 200 health and safety managers about their workplace priorities and as many as 33 different issues were highlighted.

Head of ARMS, Brian Wallace, said: "Often with this kind of research people are given just a few options to choose from, but we decided to keep things open and simply asked 'what's your priority?'

"Once categorised, these responses covered more than 30 different issues, all from just 200 health and safety managers. The things they highlighted ranged from workplace stress and violence to display screen equipment and lone workers.

"The findings reveal that not only do health and safety managers have a lot to deal with, but that their priorities differ considerably from one workplace to the next."

Other issues mentioned by those questioned included driver safety, risk assessments, manual handling, fire safety, asbestos, work at height, environmental management and workers' health and well-being.

The number one priority for managers continues to be reducing accidents for those questioned. This was closely followed by training and improving management systems and policy.

Other priorities included tackling behavioural safety and improving heath and safety culture, and a desire by mangers for their organisation to achieve a recognised health, safety or environmental standard such as OHSAS 18001 or ISO 14001.

Health and safety managers were also asked to identify which issues they might seek help with from consultants. Most (41%) mentioned training and qualifications, followed by written guidance sheets (15%), fire safety (12%), online advice, information and support (9%) and driver safety (9%).

To see a list of all 33 different priorities visit: www.aviva.co.uk/risksolutions/research/