How to Ensure an Effective H&S Management System
Health and Safety Management System
A health and safety management system is the way you manage health and safety. Your H&S management system will help you to decrease hazard, reduce number of incidents and enhance productivity. Managing health and safety shouldn’t be complex and costly. If properly implemented, it will reduce the overall cost in the long run.
Elements of an Effective H&S Management System
The effective H&S management system should contain the elements outlined in the following sections.
Governance and Distribution of Documents and Information
Whether you use Google drive, another cloud platform, a third-party application, or old-fashioned hardcopy paper format, every health and safety management system need a way to distribute and communicate updated documents and information to the relevant stakeholders. Developing robust protocols to ensure that personnel continually have access to up-to-date safety information.
Safety Inspection Checklist
creating safety inspection checklists serves many purposes. They set up a baseline for the required inspections, ensure inspections are done the same way no matter who is performing them, can reduce the amount of time it takes to perform inspections and provides records to evidence inspection has taken place. Safety inspection checklists can be used for vehicles, plant equipment, site conditions etc.
Emergency Response Plan
Although we hope never having to use an emergency response plan, it’s always better to have one in place in the event of an emergency. Having an emergency response plan in place is a legal requirement from HSE as quoted below from their website.
- You must have plans in place to respond effectively to health and safety incidents and other emergencies that might occur at an event.
An emergency response plan should to be aligned with the level of risk for the activities carried out and the potential extent and severity of the incident if something goes wrong.
Training and Education
Training and education are essential parts of a H&S Management System and can include various tools for education. Employee safety training packages can encompass fire, chemical incident or flooding amongst others and should be based on relevant hazards identified in risk assessments.
Other forms of education can be related to correct use of PPEs, forklift safety, and hazardous waste management. The format in which training and information is provided could be through certified training and toolbox talks amongst others.
Internal Audit Policy and Schedule
Health and safety audits are used to ensure compliance with legal requirements and identify strengths and weaknesses of your H&S Management System. These audits can be carried out with both internal and external resources and have to be conducted at planned intervals. Documentation from audits may be used to compare improvements and problems from year-to-year, discover trends, pinpoint risk, and create new controls and improvement initiatives based on the outcome.
Identifying Relevant Legislations and Regulations
When it comes to health and safety at work, then there are a lot of statutory and regulatory requirements that need to be considered to stay within the law. The statutory and regulatory requirements that are relevant for your organisation need to be identified and then they need to be monitored to track changes over time.
For any changes that is identified, the impact on the organisation needs to be assessed. Where relevant, actions need to be taken to ensure compliance with changes.
Experienced H&S Team
It is important for any organisation to have an experienced h&s team to ensure health and safety is well taken care of. Alternatively, if experience internal resources aren’t available, external resources such as and H&S Consultant can be used.
If you are interested in implementing an effective H&S Management System, then contact us for a free consultation on how we can assist with your project.