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INDUSTRY RESISTS THE CHALLENGE OF CHASPI

Widespread reluctance to adopt HSE benchmarking system for H&S

The Corporate Health and Safety Performance Index (CHaSPI) was launched by HSE in July 2005 to assist Boardrooms in securing “a measure of the effectiveness of their internal controls over health and safety and benchmark their performance”. 

CHaSPI webpages state that the system is designed to allow organisations to:

  • assess performance on H&S using a recognised set of indicators.
  • benchmark performance and track over time
  • communicate its health and safety performance to external stakeholders.
Review examined awareness and use the index

HSE requested consultants to undertake a review CHaSPI use and how it could be improved.

The CHASPI Review found 642 registered companies across all sectors. Since 2005 only 114 organisations had completed and ‘signed off’ a CHASPI index. 

CHaSPI results were reported as being mainly used by organisations for: 

  • External comparison – to benchmark performance against other organisations;
  • Monitoring performance – internally to identify strengths and weaknesses / report back on organisational health and safety performance.
  • Securing work – as part of bidding / tendering processes and
  • Corporate responsibility – in public annual reports.

The report states responses to the review were often polarised with views ranging from “It is probably the best health and safety Index in the world”  to “Let it die!”

Respondents reported being more likely to use CHaSPI if: 

  • the benefits were better promoted;
  • a bigger push in specific sectors;
  • linking to accreditation of some form; and
  • key improvements made e.g. inclusion of health issues (e.g. mental health); simplification of benchmarking; external verification through inspection of organisations; increased download speed; and improved navigation of the website.
Recommendations

The report recommends that to promote greater use the following actions should be taken: 

  • Advantages – take steps to increase awareness of CHaSPI and the functions it has to offer
  • Sectors – target those sectors (a) not well represented (b) with the highest health and safety risks (c) already demonstrating interest; and/or health and safety practitioners and directors/senior managers. 
Comment

Boardroom Leadership in H&S is under close examination following enactment of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (CMCH Act 2007) and associated Guidance from the Ministry Of Justice.

In addition, HSE and the Institute of Directors have jointly published Guidance on Leadership actions for directors and board members.

In this context it is surprising that more larger organisations have not signed up to the CHASPI system. Engaging fully with a regulator designed performance index provides a powerful demonstration of corporate commitment to managing health and safety risk.

CHAPSI fits well with the government plans for H&S. ‘Early’ adopters of CHASPI may find it conveys a commercial and/or legal advantage.

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