What is an effective health and safety management system?
We often get asked, “What is a health and safety management system?”
And then, “How can you tell if it's effective?”
They aren’t silly questions, and that’s what we are here for at Intesafety.
It is important to be mindful that every business is different. A good practice health and safety management system may have many different elements, each interlinked to achieve the business objectives for workplace safety. There is no one stop off-the-shelf package.
Here at Intesafety, our process is simple.
Firstly, we take the time to understand your business and your risks. We review your existing health and safety systems and processes against good practice and industry standards.
We look at a combination of both the systems and people elements, i.e. how informed are your workers, are your leaders walking the talk, are you monitoring the workplace, etc.
When we've completed this assessment, we can measure where your maturity in workplace systems and culture sit. This helps to develop standards, shape the strategy, and then tailor health and safety solutions that fit your business - to ensure it's usable.
Elements of a Health and Safety Management System
Typical elements may include any or all of the following, depending of the size and complexity of your business:
- Board Health and Safety Charter
- A Health and Safety Policy Statement
- Health and Safety Standards
- Management Plans
- You may even have a software solution to centralise, manage and monitor all the functional data that an effective health and safety management system will generate.
These are all important elements of typical health and safety management systems.
However, without buy in from workers, they can often fail. Effective leadership is essential - ownership from the top down, an understanding of requirements by all workers, including contractors and other stakeholders involved in your activities.
Further flaws in workplace safety can be the failure to implement systems and workers not following company requirements - i.e. their practices and behaviours are not aligned to where they should be.
How do you monitor these aspects of your business? Is your existing system fit for purpose?
We welcome the opportunity to discuss how your business operates and advise on what you need to do, to ensure you are taking all reasonably practicable steps in relation to workplace health and safety management.
Give us a call today - let's think safe, work safe and ensure everyone goes home safe.
Written by Aaron Neighbours, Intesafety Principal Health & Safety Partner and General Manager