BOHS launches new HI Standard self-assessment tool for construction in a bid to help managers raise the bar on health
BOHS, the Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection, has launched a new version of its Health in Industry (HI) Management Standard, designed to set out exactly what “good” looks like in managing workplace health risks, with the latest edition of the tool now offering a unique level of support for managers and their organisations.
In April 2015, BOHS launched Breathe Freely, a collaborative initiative primarily aimed at tackling the incidence of occupational lung disease in the construction industry.
The goal of Breathe Freely is to raise awareness of the problem but more importantly, provide real solutions.
What we are now seeing is a gratifying increased awareness about the need to focus more on health, and ‘treat health like safety’ but throughout the Breathe Freely journey, when talking with managers, supervisors and employers in the industry about the need to manage health effectively, one question we are constantly asked is, “What does ‘good’ look like?”
The HI Standard was our response to this question, with the tool being based on the fundamental principle that, if you are going to manage health well, you have to properly manage workplace health risks.
Now, on 27 April 2016, BOHS will launch a brand new version of the Standard, offering a unique level of user-friendly detail, including sample questions and evidence points, to truly guide managers through the process of achieving the HI Standard.
About the tool – how it works
The HI standard is a simple self-assessment tool to help companies to better manage their workplace health risks. It enables managers to identify strengths and weaknesses, set priorities and develop action plans.
The tool is designed around a framework of good practice, based on six leading indicators, namely:
- Leadership and Commitment
- Planning and Prevention
- Risk Assessment
- Competency, Training & Behaviours
- Programme Management
Who should use the HI Standard?
- The Standard is suitable for large and small companies, because the principles of the tool apply across the board, as with the tried and tested Considerate Constructors Scheme, from which the designers of the HI Standard have drawn.
- BOHS is also calling for companies to encourage organisations within their supply chains to use the HI Standard tool, to achieve a ripple effect in good practice.
- The Society is urging companies which already have their own health management models in place to use the HI Standard for comparison against their own system, in order to ensure they are covering all of the main areas, and to identify any possible gaps.
- The HI Standard has been developed specifically for the construction industry but can be applied to other sectors also and we hope these employers and managers will find its very practical approach helpful.
Launching the new tool, Steve Perkins, Chief Executive of BOHS, said, “In designing the latest version of the HI Standard, we asked Britain’s top occupational hygienists to really spell out examples of exactly what needs to be done at the coalface to protect worker health. What has been achieved is an unprecedented level of user-friendly advice and guidance, designed to strongly support managers in achieving good practice in the management of work-related health risks.”
Mike Slater, Past-President of BOHS, added, “Work-related health risks can be complex. The hazards are often invisible and silent whilst the long latency of their ill effects means that the diseases caused emerge only years later. The good news is that this new tool offers a very hands-on approach in getting to grips with these risks. So, if you want to know what “good” looks like and what standards need to be met, adopt the HI Standard and you will be guided through the process of properly managing workplace health risks.”