Disruption to Normal Service, Disrupting Stereotypes
A guest article from Priti and Amy at the S.H.E. Community Hub
Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room
– We know that for many the words ‘Health & Safety’ are like fingers down a blackboard. We’ve seen people physically recoil or roll their eyes or search frantically for the person ‘responsible’ for health & safety at the mere mention of the words. In-fact recently, upon writing a submission for a publication, we were asked to re write a ‘Thankyou’ message because the inference of the words ‘Health & Safety’ set a shift in mindset to the reader of a negative association when trying to convey thanks and gratitude.
Health & Safety is Peppered with Stereotypes
Stereotypes of clipboards, hard hats, tick lists, red tape and endless lists of things you are doing wrong. However, when used independently of each other, the words ‘Safety, Health, Environment’ all conjure up positive associations- after all, with Coronavirus we all desperately wanted to be Safe, to know that those we love were Healthy and we were in an Environment conducive for working, teaching or learning whilst living through lockdown- it’s strange that this is the essence
of Health & Safety and I wonder as you read those words did you get ‘that dreaded feeling’?
Introducing a New Way to view Health & Safety in the ‘New Normal’
S.H.E. Community Hub was launched due to our social responsibility to share the natural process of staying safe. Many of us, for example undertake the risk assessing process without even realising that, that is what we are doing. During the Coronavirus we saw first-hand great examples of neighbours identifying hazards, assessing the risks and implementing controls.
We also saw the great weight of responsibility companies felt in both staying afloat and continuing to operate whilst also putting on their ‘metaphoric hard hat’, become health and safety experts, navigate their way through all of the Coronavirus guidance (& constant up-dates) to keep staff, customers, clients, suppliers, contractors and themselves safe, healthy and well.
In turn this led us to supporting schools and charities who had limited resources, funds and experience to undertake the ‘Real Deal’ risk assessments and become Covid-secure which was suddenly expected of them.
Not because the law tells us, but because it’s the right thing to do
We are doing things differently to the norm within our industry. With presence on social media platforms, Community Hubs for peer to peer support and the sharing of best practice, using storytelling to convey important messages, we are aiming to disrupt those negative associations and show that everyone can play a positive role in Health & Safety. It can be enlightening, time saving, momentum building and dare I say it, enjoyable. By making it a choice, focusing on people, integrating core principles and being part and parcel of your company culture, it far outweighs hoping for the best and leaving it to chance.
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