Different industries all take different approaches to safety management systems.
Whether you’re a small to medium sized business or a large employer with thousands of employees, you need a thorough and well-documented safety management system to ensure that you and your employees are safe.
To establish a successful Safety Management Program, here are 12 essential elements to include:
Planning should be the first key component of any safety management program, whether you use a paper-based safety statement or dedicated WH&S software. This will help ensure that your organisation stays abreast of all the current Australian work health and safety rules and regulations.
- A means of distributing up-to-date documents
This could be done via Google drive, another similar platform or simply on paper, but you need to have a system to ensure that up-to-date documents are distributed to the right people. Ideally, your system should have a user- friendly interface so that employees can easily understand what’s required. A great app we like to use is Safety Culture.
- Safety inspection checklists
These checklists will help establish a baseline for the quality of inspections over time, regardless of who is undertaking them, and provide data on any areas that are either improving or declining over time.
- Risk assessments
Risk assessments will help you protect your employees from potential harm and your business from potential fines or lawsuits by establishing areas of potential risk and being able to monitor their safety over time.
- An emergency response system
Although you will hopefully never have to use it, it is important to have one in place just in case. It should include how to report an emergency; evacuation procedures and assembly points; procedures for shutting down operations; rescue and medical duties for workers assigned to perform them and contact details for individuals with more information.
- A training program and documentation system
Employee safety programs will be tailored to your specific industry, but may include the likes of fire and earthquake drills, accident simulations and first aid. These training programs can save lives in the event of an emergency and prevent any further safety hazards. Remember, poorly trained staff can put an organisation at risk. It is good practice to keep documentation of all your training.
- An internal audit and safety schedule
Health and safety audits are a good way to make sure you comply with health and safety laws. They can also help identify any strengths and weaknesses in your safety management program. These can be performed by either an internal or external auditor and should take place on a regular basis. They should be documented and used to develop new safety initiatives based on the recorded data.
- Have a list of laws and health and safety regulations on display for employee reference.
This will assist with awareness of the laws and regulations and should be displayed in a prominent position.
- Establish an experienced safety management team
This team will help ensure that your safety management program is being implemented on a daily basis. They will focus on preventing accidents and injuries, implementing guidelines and regulations and monitoring compliance. They will be tasked with implementing regular risk assessments, training staff and identifying hazards and will be key to making sure your workplace is safe and compliant.
- Establish measurable performance metrics
These metrics will help you identify any areas in need of improvement and trends over time. There are many health and safety KPIs, but they include the likes of Lost Time Rate, Accident Rate and Working Days since last incident.
- Regular communication and management review
Regular communication with staff is critical to ensure understanding and collaboration and can reduce confusion in the case of an emergency. It is important that your safety management program is reviewed regularly by senior management to ensure that it’s up-to-date and provide opportunities for continuous improvement.
Ideally, your system should be certified by a trusted third party to ensure that it is fit for purpose. A strong safety management program will help your organisation build confidence with your staff and customers, as it demonstrates that you are committed to workplace health and safety. These key components of a Safety Management Program should see you well placed to decide what system works best for your organisation. There is no one best solution, as every organisation has its own unique needs and requirements. To find out more about establishing a successful Safety Management Program, visit Work Options or contact us today to discuss a tailored plan for your business.
These key components of a Safety Management Program should see you well placed to decide what system works best for your organisation. There is no one best solution, as every organisation has its own unique needs and requirements.