How to Review your Health & Safety System using Four Easy Elements
The review process is a critical component of every system, much like planning, delivering, and monitoring, yet it's surprising how often companies don't analyze whether their systems are fit for purpose and represent best practices. One pre-audit Bedrock Solutions carried out for a company seeking international certification had stopped some of its earlier activities due to a restructure. While policies and procedures were in place, evaluation mechanisms tended to ignore their effectiveness. As a result, there were many uncontrolled, redundant, and useless health and safety paperwork. The company had little participation in the design of their forms or procedures, and there was little or no consultation with the entire team, especially end users. Several procedures were complex, and "low-risk" activities were emphasized. The company possessed many risk assessment matrices, but no one knew how to apply them. The company was not aware of the systems approach to managing health and safety.
A systems approach must include the following elements:
- Evaluation mechanisms in place to measure your system’s effectiveness
- Specific reviews
- Systematic reviews of entire systems
- Staff representatives from different departments involved
- Document control processes
- Regular reassessment of health and safety goals
- Risk management processes with suitably trained staff
As part of your health and safety practises, you may periodically examine hazard identification, worker consultation, and risk analysis. In revising these, have a regular calendar for check-ups on different components of your health and safety system; for example, set aside a few days each month to revise the next system on the list (cycling through them). That means you may plan regular reviews (making it easier to stick to them) and avoids any individual review from being overwhelming.
Reassessing your overarching health and safety processes is an exercise that's done every 24 months. This requires reassessing how your health and safety system interacts with workplace risks and legal requirements. If regular evaluations have been effective, re-engineering may not be necessary. However, if your environment has changed significantly, a rework may be necessary to control risk or meet legal obligations.
If you would like to know more about how we can help you streamline your operational health and safety processes do not hesitate to reach out 03 337 0593 or [email protected]
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Date Posted: 18 July 2022