How to Make Your Health and Safety Management System Effectiveby Isabel Blamey Professional writer
This article explains the keyways organisations can make their occupational health and safety management system most effectual in assuring safety and wellbeing of their valuable employees.
Organisations in every country are under the compulsion to comply with standard health and safety (OHS) regulations for assuring wellbeing of their workers. In fact, safety management must be an imperative function of every organisation’s management if they want to retain their dedicated hardworking employees and reduce costs associated with workplace risks. No doubt, most organisations already have some or other approach for assuring workers’ health and safety. However, to make their health and safety management system really effective in eliminating risks and meeting all workers’ concerns, they need to follow a set of regulations.
The first component for your OHS management system is obviously a safety policy aligned with your specific workplace risks or hazards. The policy will lay down all necessary precautions, measures or safety practices that workers generally need to follow to prevent risks or accidents while at the workplace. You can get assistance from expert health and safety consultants to decide on an appropriate policy according to prevalent risks, potential threats and difficulties faced by your workers. They will analyse all risks to provide an outline plan or framework of how to avoid them.
With a concerned safety policy, you also need to prepare an inspection checklist. It will include the areas in your organisation or tasks that are more vulnerable to risks or accidents. It also includes inspection of heavy machinery, equipment, vehicles, hazardous material containers and inventory/storage conditions, handling of which pose some risks for the assigned workers. Inspection implies regularly checking them to ensure they are in absolute safe conditions and also preparing a contingency plan for any risk (if it emerges). An emergency response plan should be always accessible to your workers as it will make them confident to tackle any unexpected crisis. It should be documented with response measures such as ways for reporting the risk, evacuation procedures, procedures to stop operations or mechanisms, and immediate relief measures for affected workers.
Risk Assessment Approach
No organisation can have a successful OHS management system without correctly assessing the risks prior to their emergence. In general, the assessing of risks means the regular monitoring of the workplace. More detailed and more frequent monitoring will help better prevent risks. Potential risks should be assessed and recorded in documents with effective preventive measures. It is useful for alerting workers and preparing them for potential hazards. A risk assessment document should also include common safety non-compliance issues with preventive solutions. Thus, it help your organisation or workers avoid any lawsuits due to non-compliance with standard regulations.
Training and Induction
Whatever kind of OHS management system your organisation implements or whatever types of risks your workplace potentially faces, protection is fostered when workers are well trained to handle the risks on their own. The organisation’s management will intervene to handle an accident or hazard, but it is up to the workers to immediately shove off the risk as much as possible and reduce the damages. Thus, a thorough training and induction program should be provided to workers to instruct them on use of safety equipment, hazardous accident management, reporting risks, handling waste, and other best practices for safety.
Success of any management system relies on certain parameters of performance, best known as KPIs (key performance indicators). Organisations seek to improve those KPIs to ensure that the management system is effective in its goals. OHS management system is no exception to that. Your organisation should decide on some KPIs by considering the opinions of workers. Measuring them from time to time will help to understand the efficiency or competency of your OHS management system. Some usual KPIs for occupational health and safety management are lost time rate (LTR), accident severity rate, total recordable injuries, total accident rate, downtime, and health insurance premium/costs.
These are requisite components to make your health and safety management system competent and successful. Needless to say, to ensure all these in your management system, you will require continued commitment from organisation’s leaders, collective participation of employees and a thorough knowledge of your workplace risks.
Damon Anderson is the managing director of a certification compliance agency and guides business on several management systems including quality, environmental, occupational health and safety management system. He is a specialized health and safety consultant and hence likes to write blogs on workplace safety, ISO 45001 certification and procedures to achieve its compliance.
Created on Jan 14th 2021 00:57. Viewed 139 times.