Multiskilling has been defined as ‘a way of working where the traditional divisions between work areas and separate disciplines are removed, and individuals are given responsibility for a range of different types of task’ (HSC, 1998).
Typically multiskilling is not introduced with the aim of improving health and safety.
A review of recent accidents and audit reports highlight the fact that poorly implemented multiskilling can have a deleterious effect on health and safety. This was verified in the six empirical case studies drawn from the rail, nuclear power generation, and chemicals manufacture sectors. On the basis of the case studies, literature review and recent accidents a life cycle model was developed.
This life cycle model has been prepared to give practical advice to all those involved in the conception, planning and assessment, implementation and audit, and the ongoing skills maintenance & review of multiskilling. A series of checklists and guiding principles are included in this report to aid companies in the management of the whole multiskilling process.