Module 3 - How to incorporate health and safety into your management style

Roles and responsibilities

How to incorporate health and safety into your management style

Module 3.1 - Learning objectives

  • Know about the continual improvement cycle
  • Know about the process of workplace incident investigations
  • Know about the difference between direct and root causes
  • Know about the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) and that its functions differ from those of management.
  • Know about the requirements to establish local emergency procedures.

Module 3.2 - Applying health and safety practices to everyday activities

Managers and supervisors conduct health and safety activities every day: they regularly apply the functions of management in their daily operations, including planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. In the context of the occupational health and safety management system, managers and supervisor must plan, do, check, and act in all aspects of their operations. This is the basis for continual improvement and health and safety performance.

Planning – determining what is required and how to execute it in a healthy and safe manner. This includes:

  • Determining scope of the work;
  • Understanding the required regulatory provisions applicable to the work;
  • Determining specific roles and responsibilities;
  • Identifying hazards and assessing risks;
  • Implementing control measures and establishing work procedures;
  • Preparing for emergencies.

Do – executing and performing the work in accordance with the plan.

  • This puts into action the elements included as part of the planning and may include the control of hazards, training, documenting and record retention.

Check – evaluating the effectiveness and performance of the plan’s implementation.

  • Observing if workers are acting in accordance with Policy 77, Procedure 14-1 or any other related legislation or institutional policy;
  • Verifying if occupational health and safety objectives and targets (such as incidents, training, inspections, audits, etc.) are being met within the work unit;
  • Monitoring if workers are acting in accordance with the standard operating procedures and work instructions;
  • Checking if workers are actively participating in training;
  • Auditing the implementation of a new procedure or directive.

Act – addressing any gaps, deficiencies or opportunities identified as part of the process.

  • There is no one-size-fits-all approach; however, the most critical element is that the system continues to mature and improve.

This process is cyclical in nature; once the first round of the process has been completed, it begins anew. There is always room for improvement, especially when it comes to occupational health and safety. Each time the steps are completed, the process should require less work if a good foundation was established during the preceding cycles. The process will also become more natural through each cycle.

As with all aspects within the occupational health and safety management system, documentation of the continual improvement is imperative. The manager/supervisor is highly encouraged to maintain documentation associated with the improvement.

Module 3.3 - Common health and safety activities conducted by managers and supervisors

There are a few simple, day-to-day actions that every manager or supervisor must regularly incorporate into their workday.