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Policies and procedures: A key part in an effective Health and Safety Management System

by , 16 March 2015
You have to make sure you're accurate when it comes to documenting your health and safety management.

This means you have to design and draft all your procedures and policies. To do that, you also need to get input from your employees since they're the specialists in their field.

You should have formal procedures on the following:

Health and Safety Policy
• Risk assessment policy. What methodology will you use?
• Recording and reporting of incidents
• Incident investigations
• Incident management. What you'll do in the case of a major incident.
• Safe work procedures or Standard Operating Procedures.
• Training. Certain positions in the OHS Act require formal training. What's your policy going to be regarding training? How often will you conduct training? How often do employees need to go on refresher training?

(Remember, training required by law includes:
– First Aid Training;
– Health and Safety Representative;
– Working at heights;
– Evacuation;
– Fire Fighter;
– Confined Spaces;
– Hazardous Chemicals;
– Risk Assessor; and
– Induction.)
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Other procedures you should have in place...

Audit processes and time frames.
• Contractor management.
• Health and safety representatives and safety committees.
• Legal registers.
• Legal appointments.
• Environmental policies.
• More specific policies and procedures based on the Act and its Regulations.

Our advice to you is to make health and safety a standard item on your agenda for every management meeting. This is how it will become an essential ingredient of your business and ensure you involve every key member in this process.

Although this may cost you, see it as a long-term investment and allocate a budget for your Health and Safety training, PPE, mechanical improvements, etc. You have to comply with the law and not managing health and safety poses a financial risk to your organisation!

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