The world of health and safety is full of compliance and academic documents which the best practice businesses should take when implementing health and safety policies. One of the more notable documents is HSG 48. Standing for Health and Safety Guidance 48, the document looks to outline some of the human factors that go into proper health and safety management. Here we have a look at some of the key points from HSG 48 and why you need to consider it when performing health and safety-related tasks.
- What are the different chapters of HSG 48?
The HSG 48 is broken down into chapters, each detailing different areas which should be looked at from a behavioural safety standpoint.
Chapter 1: What are human factors?
The first chapter in HSG 48 breaks down ‘human factors’ and how they influence health and safety in the workplace. Human factors refer to environmental, organisational and job factors that influence an individual’s work in a way which affects your health and safety. An example of a human factor could be fatigue over a long working day, which can impede reactions and concentration in safety-critical roles.
Chapter 2: Understanding human failure
The second chapter of HSG 48 looks at human failure and what organisations can try to do to better understand it in their workforce. With human error contributing to a high amount of accidents in work, this is an important concept. HSG 48 looks at two types of failure, error and violation. Error is when rules and guidance are unknowingly broken, violation is when rules are knowingly broken.
Chapter 3: Designing for people
The third chapter tries to explain some of the changes that can be made to influence human performance in the workplace. This can be done by the design of both the workplace and the specific job role. Ergonomics, working hours and the type of work being done can all be designed from a human perspective.
Chapter 4: Managing the influences on human performance
The fourth chapter of HSG 48 looks further at potential influences on human behaviour and what organisations can do to assist their employees. These influences have the ability to both help and hinder workers looking to get the job done.
Chapter 5: Getting started
The fifth chapter of HSG 48 looks at the practical ways that employers can implement the learning for the betterment of their workforce. This section includes recommendations and a useful section which looks at how you can implement behavioural safety factors into more holistic risk assessments.
Chapter 6: Conclusion
The sixth and final section of HSG 48 backs up some of the principles outlined by giving case studies and examples of organisations that have implemented some of the principles outlined in HSG 48. This is a good section to study for tips on how you can implement better behavioural safety management.
- What are the key takeaways from HSG 48 I need to know?
One of the fundamental areas man takes away from HSG 48 is the need for a holistic yet tailored approach to behavioural safety. The document outlines how organisations can influence behaviour as a means of reducing error within an organisation.
The study also looked at how the general work processes can influence workers’ physical and mental health. This is key. If you do not look after employees from a wellbeing perspective, no amount of regulations and rules can stop accidents from happening. People make mistakes, and the learnings from HSG 48 can help keep workers engaged in their work and in a good state mentally to perform safety-critical tasks.
Where can I learn more about HSG 48 and other health and safety best practice? The full HSG 48 document can be found on the HSE website, in addition to this, you will also need to learn and implement other practices in terms of health and safety. Whilst HSG 48 is important, it is also important to look at other aspects of health and safety from reputable sources. This will give you an understanding of the different views around HSG 48 and how they can be applied to your organisation.