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Compile your health and safety budget in three easy steps

by , 16 March 2015
We can't stress the importance of an efficient health and safety management system enough. One of the key components to getting it right is an accurate health and safety budget.

To compile your health and safety budget, you need to follow these three steps:

Use these three steps when setting up your health and safety budget.

Step 1: Create a plan

You need to plan how you'll design and implement your safety system in your workplace.

To create this plan, start with a base-line risk assessment. This helps identify the risks in your workplace.

Moreover, it will give you an idea of what protective controls you need to put in place, and then you can budget for them accordingly. You can conduct it yourself if you're trained in performing risk assessments or contact a specialist to do one for you.

Once you're done with your risk assessment, do a base-line compliance audit. You can easily do this using tools such as our 'Audit Smart Programme'.

Your audit will show you what you have in place and what you still need to have in order to be legally compliant with the OHS Act.

Step 2: Do the maths

After you've made sure you know what risks are in your workplace and the controls you need to have in place to prevent them, get quotes from your suppliers/providers. Choose your providers carefully.

Here are the aspects you should lookfor when picking your supplier. They should be someone that's:

• Well known in the industry. Watch out for fly-by-night suppliers;
• Can give you after sales support;
• Have good references;
• Can deliver training on a high level;
• Are independently accredited to relevant standards; and
• Have a suite of solutions on offer so they can supply the appropriate match for your circumstances. For example, if you use a PPE supplier, make sure he can supply you with a variety of safety shoes, ear protection, hearing protection, eye protection and overalls, etc. Every company differs and your company will have different requirements.

Also make sure your providers are legally compliant in terms of the OHS Act and other relevant legislation. Ask your provider for their safety file with all the required documentation to prove they're legally compliant.

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Step 3: Financing your system

The third step consists of compiling your health and safety budget. Remember, to  match your quotes to the items you identified in your risk assessment. Not many companies can address all your risks at the same time, so break your budget into phases.

The next step is to get your budget approved. It's up to you to show the value in budgeting for health and safety in your workplace.

Below you'll find a few ways that your company can benefit from budgeting for your health and safety requirements:

• Increased productivity as you can plan ahead;
• Lower insurance costs as you consistently pay your premiums;
• Improved morale as your employees can see that management values their safety; and
• Less time is lost due to injuries.

Note that the money your company spends on Occupational Health and Safety is an investment for your business.

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