A health and safety specialist has been appointed to manage the employer’s responsibilities in the field of occupational health and safety, but nowhere does it state that he should do so alone. Therefore, we focus on delegation in this article, because by learning or understanding it, health and safety professionals can do their jobs much more efficiently and save time.

Delegation is a means of sharing tasks and responsibilities with other team members. This will give you more time to keep the big picture together and focus on prevention. 

What is needed for delegation?

1. A functioning occupational health and safety system.

If you don’t have things in place, you can’t expect others to understand your system and be able to follow it.

2. The team.

Map people who can help you and talk to them in person about why they have been asked to help you.

3. Trust!

You have to trust the people to whom you delegate something. Otherwise, all your new free time will be spent controlling people. It may just as well not be delegated.

How to delegate correctly?

1. Give specific instructions. A person must understand exactly what his task is and how this process works. The instructions could be fixed in writing to be followed and reminded if necessary.

2. Give them the power to act. Delegation works when a person feels that he or she is not just someone’s “running boy”, but that he or she is doing an important action that is needed to achieve a great goal. He wants to be in a position to make his own decisions if necessary. 

3. Set a time frame. People can use their time and activities better and more efficiently if they know exactly what they have to do, how long it will take them and when the result must be on the table. So give specific guidance on when you expect the result? We always recommend adding a small time buffer, as surprises can come up.

4. Create a clear picture of the expected result. If a person knows what the result must be, he or she can also act independently and, if necessary, make smaller decisions. Involving your team in the project planning process also contributes to the clarity of the expected result. In this way, they are aware of the way of thinking that led to the expected result and may be able to offer some good ideas or solutions. This in turn increases the employee’s connection to the project.

5. Give feedback. Feedback is always very important. He needs to know if what and how he is doing is right or wrong. If the action he is doing is right, then he knows that he will continue in the same spirit, but if something could be done better, he is usually ready to correct himself. Here, it is important to note that both negative and positive aspects must be discussed when giving feedback.

6. Keep an overview. Delegate, but don’t get rid! In the case of delegation, it is important to understand that delegation does not equate in getting rid of the tasks. You give up the task, but the connection to this task must remain, because the results will be presented to you and, if necessary, you must be ready to answer the employee’s questions. In addition, an overview must be kept of whether the delegated work is still being carried out and whether the results are as expected.

Finally, what tasks or processes to delegate on health and safety?

1. Internal control. You set up the internal control system, but you do not have to be the person performing the internal control. Delegate it to appropriate people who are closer to the process or administration being controlled. Only leave the performance of the internal control audit to you.

2. Medical examination. The health examination can be directed to a person who keeps a record of the employees anyway (personnel specialist, head of department, etc.). The person in charge must be aware that each new employee must be sent for an initial medical examination and others must be reminded when the time for the medical examination is coming and sent for periodic medical examinations. Your task is to find a suitable service provider for the health check and get possible time frames to have the health check visits.Of course, even this someone else can do. 

3. Instructions. Mentoring should be done by an experienced employee who does not have to be a health and safety specialist in person. So find a competent employee to take on this task. There can be several persons in charge of safety training. Your job is to ensure that all employees are instructed and that instruction is confirmed by the employee either on paper or digitally.

These are just some of the things that by delegating you create more free time. You can direct your free time to ensure an even safer and healthier organization.