Having a workshop which is regularly under-staffed or filling positions with individuals whose competence, experience or motivation is below par, has implications beyond just quality and efficiency.
There are safety implications too, such as;
- Defective workmanship issues which affect safety-critical elements of a vehicle.
- Misuse or poor selection of tools and work equipment.
- Poor judgement of risk controls when faced with unusual or unexpected technical problems.
- Lack of attention to housekeeping or adherence to safe systems of work.
- Increased fatigue and stress among the workforce due to insufficient numbers of technicians
Attracting and keeping the best people will ensure you not only deliver the highest quality service, but also avoid the considerable (direct and indirect) costs associated with accidents.
Health & Safety’s role in recruitment
It’s been shown that job candidates are not purely motivated by money. Relationships, culture and opportunity are very meaningful considerations as well. So how can Health & Safety play a part in making your company more attractive to workers?
- Clearly defined roles - Detailed job descriptions and responsibilities will support clear communication and ensure staff can take ownership of specific activities. It will also mean that important safety tasks don’t fall between people and get missed.
- Regular communication between management and staff – this can make workers feel valued in knowing that their opinions matter, as well as give them an opportunity to share ideas and discuss safety concerns. Employees can also inform management about the true nature of hazards and effectiveness of risk controls ‘on the shop floor’.
- Work environment - providing clean, fresh, warm and well-maintained facilities will make the work experience more pleasant for staff, as well as promoting good hygiene and reducing the risks associated with handling harmful chemicals and substances.
- Ease of work activity - if the job can be done easily and efficiently, staff will be more comfortable. This will avoid the stress, frustration and lost time incurred in struggling to find parts or operate machinery which is ageing or defective.
- Training is key - having training (including a comprehensive induction and Health & Safety learning) and development plans can promote career progression, as well as demonstrate that the employer takes safety seriously. It will also help to engage workers and motivate them to support the company goals. Supportive employees who feel valued are also more likely to follow safety rules.
Health & Safety’s Return on Investment
Just because a vehicle workshop environment is intrinsically ‘dirty’ by nature, doesn’t mean that it has to be an unpleasant place to work. There’s always been a clear link between quality and safety and those businesses – whatever size – who invest in the latter, achieve financial pay-back in return – through increased reputation, retention of the best people and the highest quality of service and workmanship. This isn’t a new phenomenon.
For more information and advice simply call 0330 008 5555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a Director of Sutton Winson Consultancy Services Ltd, which delivers a range of risk management solutions. I joined Sutton Winson in January 2000 and have derived a great deal of satisfaction from helping our clients achieve significantly preferable insurance terms, and other financial benefits, by embracing proactive risk management.
I am a Chartered Member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (CMIOSH), a member of the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), a Chartered Insurance Risk Manager and hold the FCII (Fellowship of the Chartered Insurance Institute).