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Safety Manual vs Safety System

Safety Manual vs Safety System

I love it when I am talking to a business owner and we get on the topic of safety. The business owner goes on to tell me that they spent xxx xxx thousand of dollars to have a custom manual built for them. I will ask if I can have a look and it is usually sitting on a desk collecting dust or buried under a bunch of paperwork. It has not been looked at for years and is never up-to-date.

There is a big difference between having a safety manual and having a health and safety management system/programme.  It doesn’t matter how much you have spent on a safety manual for your company if it isn’t being utilized. Using and implementing an effective health and safety system takes understanding, teaching, and learning what is written and making it a culture. It is a commitment and is forever evolving and growing as your company does.

An effective health and safety management system must have the following 8 components in place:

-Identification and analysis of health and safety hazards at the worksite

-Control measures to eliminate or reduce the risks to workers from hazards

-Clearly demonstrated management commitment and written company policy

-Worker competency and training

-Inspection program

-Emergency response planning

-Incident reporting and investigation

-Management system administration

These can be broken down further, but the fundamentals are the same. If you have a manual with all of this, that’s great and you are ahead of most of your counterparts. Now turn it into a management system and start doing what your manual says you will. This will help you prove compliance, due-diligence, build a strong culture and most importantly protect the most valuable asset in business; your workers!



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