20 May 2021

Health & safety: An opinion piece by Sarah turnbull

Health & safety: An opinion piece by Sarah turnbull

Health & safety: An opinion piece by Sarah turnbull

"Some people may find it peculiar to hear that health and safety is actually quite exciting! Well, I think so.

I have been working within health and safety since 2016, across several very different sectors, covering a skatepark, education settings and manufacturing. Having gained five years practical experience and completed IOSH Managing Safety Certificate I can confidently complete risk assessments, fire risk assessments, plan and deliver tool box talks to the team and carry out monthly health and safety audits.

It is paramount with ever changing legislation and guidelines, following Standard Operating Procedures, new equipment and new starters, we are fully prepared and adaptable to our working environment. Risk assessments allow us to reduce, eliminate and/or manage risk within the workplace, whilst keeping staff safe in the roles they perform. The follow on from risk assessments are tool box talks. They enable me to deliver all the relevant information, facts, guidelines, parameters useful information targeted to the job and specific responsibilities. They are ideal for quick, fast information sharing with multiple staff, helping reduce/eliminate any health and safety issues that may arise, giving staff confidence in the tasks they are performing. It’s also a great way to get feedback on current practices and problem solve collectively where appropriate.

Audits allow an overview of any health and safety matters that need addressing and allow quick and effective responses from the whole team. Audit feedback is an essential part of the continuous improvement of health and safety throughout the factory and offices. Doing the audit monthly enables the team to be held to task with target dates to work to and issues fed back to the team through our team meetings and internal communication.

The feedback I receive often generally covers ‘most things suggested and/or put in place are common sense’ and ‘shouldn’t have to be laid down in training procedures and policies’, but health and safety is there to protect the team and ensure they arrive safely on-site and leave safely home to their families.

However, keeping the team safe whilst at work is paramount and I am focussed on making sure a basic understanding is instilled to all of the team, passing on my knowledge and expertise for them to carry out their responsibilities safely, within the right environment, and above all taking responsibility for their own safety and that of their team mates.

Teaching team members basic health and safety for their role at MPM, integrating new practices, new machinery, change in areas of work or teaching team members things they already know, or at least think they know, (even though they do not always practice them in person), is interesting!

It’s rewarding knowing the toolbox talks I create and deliver are enjoyed, add value, while keeping the team informed and safe and well.  

I love my job.

I like to know that I am making a difference keeping my team mates, and MPM, safe, as much as possible through understanding legislation, policies and procedures delivered via toolbox talks, internal newsletters and team meetings. 

Monthly meetings with key team members alongside an in-depth monthly audit enable clear focus and actions to be noted and addressed. This sets a tone and precedent for MPM as a whole."