Time to review your safety management system
I know finding time to write your safety documents is hard but finding the time to do a review is even harder.
The good thing is if you are doing a review, it means you have a safety system in place, the hard bit is done! I get a few questions about doing safety system reviews.
Why do a review?
The team here at Projects One Safety Online is constantly looking for things that have changed, creating a new document version, and making sure the team are kept up to date. Your business should also be constantly checking for compliance issues, safety updates, informing your staff of the changes, training your staff how to comply with the changes and most importantly looking for new hazards and identifying new controls so your team go home safe at the end of the day.
When do we do a review?
there are many reasons that should trigger a review of your safety management system, and my simplest answer here is when conditions change, change your safety, or at the very least yearly. Reviewing your safety system is more than a spring clean, it should be a big deal, after all, it might just save a life.
10 points to help keep your review on track.
Written by, Wendy Bishop, creator of Projects One Safety Online, the ‘simplifier’ of all thing’s safety
- Take a look at your team, supervisors, managers, subcontractors, it’s time to assess your safety culture. Is your safety culture on track, working from the top down, do you have happy campers all round or is someone letting the team down?
- Gather as much information since your last review as you can. When you are on the hunt, look for:
- injury and Workcover reports and investigations
- risk register and hazard reporting
- toolbox and team meeting records
- SWMS and risk assessments
- equipment and vehicle prestart checklists and maintenance registers
- changes to staff, their duties, team structures, and rosters
- supervisor communications
- sick days and holidays taken and outstanding, you are looking for stress points
- new equipment, safe operating procedures and the manufacturer operating guides
- changes to procedures that have and have not been documented
- staff qualifications and experience…
I know for some of you, this might be quite the task and for others its all in your head. If it is all stored in the upstairs melon, please make some notes on paper, have a look back over the past 12 months or since your last review, you will need them shortly.
- Once you have gathered all the information you now need to put the pieces of the puzzle together and make a list of where you need to improve, how you can improve and who will most likely help you make those improvements. Be curious, dig deep and don’t let go until it’s done!
- Consultation time! Once you have all the information, put the pieces of the puzzle together and made a list, it is time to gather the troops and work out a battle plan. Consult with your staff, this is a vital part of any WHS system, ensure they are involved in developing safe work procedures and making safety decisions. Value your workers’ views and take them into account.
- Remember your WHS system must also include mental wellbeing!
- Look at the nitty gritty of your policies and procedures. Are they clear and concise, are they easy to understand? Do you need to cater for those who might not read English or have a low level of literacy?
- Look at how your documents interact together, many documents link together and must reflect the same message, is your message positive and promoting safety and consultation.
- Now double check you have identified all the hazards, determined the risk and worked out all the control measures you need to eliminate or minimise the risk.
- Most importantly as you implement your new safety system ensure that all staff are trained, supervised, and can provide feedback. Promote your new safety system and ensure that you and your team are always looking for ways to improve.
- Pat yourself and your team on the back for a job well done.
Projects One Safety Online can help your staff complete their safety administration tasks easily, as Projects One Safety Online allows you to do your SWMS, Risk Assessments and Toolbox meetings onsite where your staff can see the hazards it is time to eliminate the “sign here” culture. A lengthy and complex SWMS written in the office is not going keep your staff safe. By doing your SWMS on our Mobile Application you can easily complete a SWMS onsite in 5 minutes, with the team providing input face to face and in real time!
Remember, every morning as you prepare for work ask yourself, what is different about today? If conditions change, change your safety!
Stay safe from the Projects One Safety Online team