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The seven elements you need to include in your company's workplace health and safety management system

by , 02 January 2015
Creating a health and safety management system can seem complicated. After all, there are several different components that make up the system. Miss even one and it could render your system useless and non-compliant.

The truth is, however, if you break health and safety management down to the essentials, you'll see it isn't as complicated as you think.

To prove this to you, we're going to show you Steinhoff International Holding's health and safety system and the basic components it includes...

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Are you responsible for compiling your SHE file?
Are you struggling to keep up-to-date with all the paperwork?
Do you waste your time formatting all the documents?
Are you stressed out about all your legal requirements?
Of course you are. You have enough on your plate already, and keeping up with paperwork isn't on the top of your to-do list. But unfortunately, it's part of your job because it's a legal requirement. And, you've answered 'YES' to at least half of the questions above.

Steinhoff International Holding's a successful health and safety system included these seven components

As a leading furniture manufacture throughout Africa, Steinhoff's employees often have to do hazardous work. That's why they creates a health and safety management system that includes: 
1. Health and safety committees: It put committees in place in every division to ensure everyone follows the health and safety guidelines. These guidelines require that all its operations follow the legislation, regulations and codes of practice industry standards.
2. Risk assessments: It conducted these assessments to measure improvement and identify areas for additional focus or attention. It did internal or external assessments, reviews and independent audit as part of this risk assessment process.
3. Safety, health, environmental and quality management (SHEQ) systems: It introduced SHEQ systems into certain divisions and helped them put together SHEQ reports, particularly when identifying and managing risk areas.
4. Regular health and safety audits: It carried out these in different divisions. These audits enabled the Steinhoff group to maintain its health and safety certification. 
5. Health and safety certifications: These certifications covered more than 60% of employees in each division. And its manufacturing operations comply with the different industry and country-specific certification regulations for each area. 
6. Health and safety induction training: It gives all new employees training when they join the company. Training includes driver training, the conveyance of dangerous goods by road, defensive driving training, fatigue management, safe work procedures and compliance with food safety and hygiene codes.
7. In-depth investigations into health and safety incidents: It continuously reviews this process so it can deal with incidents as they arise. 
So what can you take away from Steinhoff's health and safety management system?
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Do you have more than 20 employees?
Don't ignore this health and safety obligation or else!
The DoL will slap you with a R50 000 fine or 1 year in jail if you don't have a health and safety representative. 

Here's what you can learn from Steinhoff's health and safety management systems

The key components in Steinhoff's management system are:
1. Health and safety committees;
2. Risk assessments;
3. SHEQ management systems;
4. Health and safety audits;
5. Certifications;
6. Induction training; and
7. Incident investigations.
By including these seven elements in your health and safety management system, you can continually monitor, improve and control your company's health and safety and never let your health and safety programme become outdated or irrelevant.
PS. Check out the SHE File CD for everything you need to create your health and safety management system from scratch. 

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