Most businesses understand the importance of safety management. They know that if they don't take care of their employees, or provide them with a safe place to work, then it can lead to serious consequences such as injuries and even death. However, not all companies have an effective Safety Management System in place. This blog post will highlight the six elements that you should look for in a Safety Management System.
As a business, would you rather want to wake up to your company's name on the front page of a newspaper or television news due to a workplace accident? Yes? We don't think so.
No. More like it!
Unfortunately, despite the desire to prevent workplace accidents from occurring, they do. Protecting employees and customers is a top priority for any business owner or manager; the last thing you want is to receive a call from the authorities and get notified that you are liable for a workplace accident that has occurred on your watch. The good news is that there are ways to avoid this scenario - a good safety management system goes a long way in preventing workplace accidents. In this blog post, we will discuss the six elements required to make your Safety Management System a successful one.
Consider this your battle plan.
This document clearly lays out the steps you need to take in order to ensure your company's safety. To define what a "Safety Management Plan" is, we need to first understand what a safety management system entails. A Safety Management System is nothing more than the policies, procedures, and documentation that helps ensure the safety of your employees and customers. This plan should include: the safety goals for your company, how you are going to meet those goals (e.g., training, risk assessment), and how you will measure your progress.
So by definition, a Safety Management Plan is a specific document that outlines the steps your business will take to ensure it maintains a safe environment for its employees and customers. It analyses the risks and hazards associated with your business, defines the controls you'll implement to address those threats, assesses how effective these controls are at mitigating risk and the frequency of inspections and reviews to ensure your system remains effective. As you can tell, a Safety Management System without a safety management plan is like going into battle without a strategy - you're not guaranteed to win.
Put accurately, Workplace Health and Safety Policies, Procedures, and Processes as required by legislation are the "concrete" and often visible components of your Safety Management System.
The most effective policies are clear, concise, communicated to staff via training and are easy to follow, with defined roles of those responsible for the operation. Procedures must be clear in their purpose and intent - provide step by step instructions on how to do the task. Processes are often documented and repeatable - such as a checklist, or process map. This element is what most people think of when they hear the term "safety management system". They may not even realize that there are more elements involved in a complete safety management system, but they are definitely aware that policies and procedures are required.
If a Safety Management Plan is the strategy, policies and procedures are the tactics.
The importance of training and education cannot be stressed enough. Training ensures that employees are equipped with information necessary to perform their assigned tasks safely and correctly, while educating them on the purpose and importance of safety in their everyday work life. The goal of this training is not only to ensure that employees know how to do their jobs, but also to ensure that they know how to do their jobs safely.
Training could be in the form of a lecture, video, or hands on experience. The key here is ensuring that these training sessions are not only effective but also engaging and memorable - your employees should be able to easily remember what they have learned. Topics that your training should touch on include:
Since this is such an important element, it is key to make sure that you get all of your employees trained properly. You will want to have a specific training program for each group and/or department.
Risk management is what you do to identify and monitor risks, as well as mitigate them so they don't become a problem for your business. It is also important to remember that you cannot eliminate all risk. The key is avoiding unnecessary risks, and mitigating the ones you can't avoid.
When put into practice, this element will help you and your business remain compliant, as well as keep everyone safe. Typically, risk management comprises of:
A system that allows you to know what the hazards are, and how they can be prevented/mitigated
Tries to provide an understanding of how likely it is for the hazard to occur, and what the consequences are
Finally, procedures in place to help control the risks and prevent them from becoming a problem. Following the hierarchy of control, it includes: Elimination, Substitution, Mechanical control, Administrative controls, and the use of Personal Protective Equipment PPE)
In controlling health and safety risks, other important points that needs to be covered are:
Unfortunately, accidents can and will happen regardless of how much you try to prevent them. When an accident does occur, incident management makes sure that it is properly reported, investigated, and documented.
The accident to your manager or supervisor should be a given - that's why they are there. Additionally, there should be a system in place for reporting "notifiable" incidents to the relevant authorities
Accidents happen. That's why it is important to have an incident investigation element in place that can help you determine the root cause of the accident so you can prevent it from recurring. This element will also help you with the documentation aspect of your business - by collecting and analysing information, you will be able to create reports, and turn that into actionable items for your managers
It allows you to keep track of everything that happened leading up to the accident. That way, if there are any legal issues, you have all of the evidence in order to resolve them
Becoming familiar with this element will help you deal with an accident quickly, and correctly. It will also help you do a better job of following up with your employees and ensuring they get the support that they need.
With all other elements in place, it is important to have a system that allows you to communicate with your employees and other stakeholders.
First things first, make sure everyone has access to the same information. Ensure that the information is up to date. The last thing you want to derail your efforts is out-dated or inconsistent information. Another important part of communication includes making sure your employees are well aware of the hazards that exist in their workplace. These should be communicated as frequently as possible; especially if there have been any changes to the workplace.
It is also important to make sure all employees feel comfortable coming forward with any concerns they might have. The more problems you can prevent before they happen, the better off your business will be. Strategies for effective communication include:
Safety Management Systems can be challenging to develop and implement. Because of this many companies have a hard time meeting their statutory obligations, but it doesn't have to be that way. A tool that'll automate safety management sounds like a dream come true.
A Safety Management software allows safety managers to analyse data and identify trends. Managers can then use the information to make changes that improve efficiency, minimize risk exposure, and increase profitability. The right system can help you:
Kiri Align is one of such tools top businesses in the world are using to make safety management more efficient. It is a valuable tool for streamlining your processes and complying with regulations in real time-and it can help prevent accidents from happening in the first place.
Once you've got it set up, you can use Kiri Align to monitor compliance and ensure that your safety protocols are up-to-date. You can upload documents, share information with workers/contractors on site, and keep all your employees on the same page. It's easy to use, efficient, and effective at helping you ensure safety protocols are followed every time. If you are looking for a simple, low-cost solution to help with compliance in the workplace, give Kiri Align a try.
Try it out today FREE and see how it can transform the way you manage safety.