Five health and safety traits every team needs

by Scriba PR

Avid readers of the Smith Brothers blog will know we’re fiercely committed to supporting the health of our team – both mentally and physically. So, this month we asked our SHEQ manager, Darrell Johnson, to talk us through five key elements of a successful health and safety strategy…

Our friends at ROSPA often talk about getting your ‘SKATEs’ on – but not in the roller derby sense. This acronym refers to Skill, Knowledge, Attitude, Training, and Experience (SKATE) and is used to benchmark competency.

The SKATE framework can be used to rate employee capability, or as a basis for an audit of the organisation as a whole. So, let’s take a closer look:

1. Skills

By its very nature, ‘skill’ means possessing the ability to do something well – and in the world of Smith Brothers, we’re lucky to employ some of the UK’s brightest and best engineering talent. But, we don’t just settle with HV expertise, it’s important every colleague is equipped for ‘life on site’ and well-aware of how to stay safe.

2. Knowledge

While employees are never going to be expected to be able to recite The Health and Safety at Work Act in its entirety, it’s important they understand what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of requests, standards, and behaviour.

3. Attitude

‘You’re only as strong as your weakest link’, and a positive attitude towards health and safety is key. Cutting corners to save time, avoiding paperwork, or because it’s the way things have always been done simply isn’t good enough. Whether it’s tackling bad habits or breaking down the stigma around mental health, it’s vital that management leads from the front – with an approach that’s firmly in 2021.

4. Training

Preventing accidents at work should be a key priority for any employer – and employee. While initial H&S training will be given as part of any onboarding process, its important to continue with ongoing ‘refreshers’. Recurring training not only helps to reduce accidents ‘in the line of duty’ but fosters a positive health and safety culture – whereby safe working becomes second nature.

5. Experience

We learn best from lived experiences, and understanding how incidents and near misses came to be is vital when it comes to addressing any knowledge gaps within your current workforce. Not only that, but a diverse team can bring new ideas and approaches to tackling the ‘red tape’ so-often associated with H&S – so be open to inspiration in all its forms.

And finally, it’s important not to default to an image of hard hats and high vis when it comes to H&S too, as looking after our mental health is just as important. That’s why Smith Brothers has partnered with Mates In Mind, and you can read about our latest initiative, here.

Five health and safety traits every team needs
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