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Your First 5 Steps as the New Health and Safety Manager

Updated: Apr 29

Female safety manager climbing structure

You've just begun your role as a brand new Health & Safety Manager.

Congratulations! But what's next? Typically, in most companies, there's only one safety manager, and you're expected to hit the ground running.

Here are 5 simple steps to take in those initial weeks that will pave the way for your success in safety manager training and establish the ethos of a safety department under your leadership.

  1. Get to Know the Entire Management Team As the safety manager, you'll collaborate with the entire management team and their staff. These individuals should be your first allies, so start forging connections with them from day one. Remember, building relationships is about understanding the other person and how you can assist them. Take the initiative to introduce yourself face-to-face. Schedule meetings to delve into their roles, goals, communication preferences, and expectations from the safety department. Learning this information early on lays a solid groundwork for a collaborative working relationship. Repeat this process with every management member, from executives to frontline supervisors, within your first two weeks.

  2. Introduce Yourself to the Employees This should happen on your first day. If it hasn't been arranged by your employer, take the initiative to gather employees for a brief introduction session. Prepare a concise elevator speech covering your name, role, a snippet about yourself, your vision for the safety programme, and your contact details. Invite questions and inquire about their immediate safety concerns. Keep the tone positive, focusing on the mutual benefits of a robust safety programme.

  3. Conduct a Hazard Assessment Utilise your initial weeks to conduct a comprehensive hazard assessment across the organisation. Inspect every department, inside and out, while engaging with employees to understand their tasks and safety concerns. Document all findings, including hazards and areas for improvement, into a centralised document to share with the management team.

  4. Analyse and Prioritise Results Before sharing your findings, prioritise them based on risk severity and frequency. This ensures a systematic approach to addressing safety concerns. Consider using a structured method for prioritisation, such as a risk ranking matrix.

  5. Communicate Findings to the Management Team Schedule a meeting to present your findings and proposed action plan to the management team. Approach this discussion with sensitivity and respect, acknowledging their expertise and contributions. Explain how your assessment provides a baseline for improvement and invite their input on prioritisation. Additionally, outline your vision for the safety programme and seek their approval to proceed with your proposed initiatives.

By securing buy-in from the management team early on, you foster a culture of shared responsibility for safety and ensure the success of your safety management efforts in the long term.

"Your First 5 Steps as the New Health and Safety Manager" blog post first appeared on Search² at


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