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Do this and you won't make any mistakes when implementing your Health and Safety Management System!

by , 09 March 2015
As an employer, you have to prevent employee injury and adverse health effects and in the long term this will save your company money.

Bear in mind that your Health and Safety Management System must be easy to implement and sustain. Here's how to ensure it is.

Note that you are legally required to manage health and safety in your company.  

There are several rules you have to follow to make your Health and Safety Management System efficient, mistake free and worth more than the paper it's printed on!

Here are the five steps you have to follow for the most effective  Health and Safety Management System

Step #1: Plan your health and safety system

For this step, you have to form a small working committee that includes an equal representation of employees and management. This committee must discuss what must be done and how to go about it. Set a target date to get this done.

Note that if you have employees who have some knowledge or experience of health and safety management, you should involve them in these early discussions.

Step #2: Implement your health and safety system

You should make health and safety a standard agenda item for every meeting. This way it becomes an integral part of your business.

Involve your financial department as well. Don't forget that legal compliance is not negotiable and failure to manage health and safety poses a financial risk to your organisation.

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Your 1 527 health and safety duties as an employer

When was the last time you checked what disinfecting agents and cleaning materials your company uses?
Do you comply with the Hazardous Chemical Regulations?

There are over 1 500 items you must evaluate in your workplace according to the OHS Act and hundreds more from SABS 0400: National Building regulations.

Health and safety laws apply to EVERY company, if you have more than 20 employees you have even greater obligations.



Draw up, document, and communicate your Health and Safety Policy to all employees together with a Health and Safety Agreement.

You should also:

- Implement the health and safety training plan

- Identify possible hazards and assess any risk

- Implement risk controls

- Report all incidents

- Hold health and safety committee meetings

Step #3: Make sure you're meeting the legal requirements

You have to implement a series of checks to make sure that what you've planned and implemented actually meets legal requirements and your desired risk reduction and control measures. This includes things like conducting:

- Health and safety representative inspections
- Internal audits on your health and safety management system, at least annually
- External audits  by a third party where recommended

Step 4#: Management review

Create a management review of your health and safety managements system and use it at least annually, to start your budget process because this will give you the chance to allocate finance if required so you can implement risk reduction and risk control measures!

Step #5: Take action if problems arise!

In case your health and safety representative identifies deviations from the accepted standard, you must take corrective action to fix the problem! Moreover, where non-conformance with your health and safety standard is identified during an internal or external audit, take action to remedy the situation.

Use all these steps to ensure you have the most efficient health and safety management system possible.

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