Category Archive: Systems

Jul 04 2012

Tips for Writing Effective Safety Procedures

Safety procedures are an essential part of a safety management system and form a bridge between the general statements made in safety policies and the task specific instructions contained in such things as JSAs. The longer and more complicated they are the less likely they will be read and, therefore, the less likely they will […]

Jun 01 2012

What is the Hierarchy of Controls?

Workplace safety, like many other specialty area (even yours) develops its own set of jargon and the hierarchy of controls is one of the more useful bits of safety jargon particularly for safety management systems structured around hazard management. So what is it?
A hierarchy is …?
A hierarchy is just a fancy name for a list. […]

Apr 29 2012

Using Smart Devices for Health and Safety Auditing

Smart devices are everywhere these days; even my 5-year-old granddaughter has something called a Leap Pad which is apparently a junior version of the adult devices. I sometimes think I am the only person on the planet who doesn’t have one of these things – I’m still struggling with my 6-year-old standard mobile phone :).
I […]

Apr 14 2012

Do Safety Management Systems Work?

I guess there are a couple of answers to this question. It depends on what type of safety management system we’re talking about and what you want it to achieve.
Why Have a Safety Management System?
You need to ask why you want a safety management system? I doubt that it’s because you have a vacant spot […]

Apr 12 2012

Ten Tips to Write Better Safety Paperwork

Other than a safety policy (which is essentially a PR document), the documents that make up a safety management system are intended to clearly communicate what people are supposed to do in certain situations to avoid being hurt. Many of these documents though are as clear as mud and about as engaging as watching grass […]

Apr 06 2012

Write a Safety Policy that Works

While often necessary for legal compliance and for third party certification, a safety policy is possibly the most useless document in a safety management system (SMS). It is little more than a statement of intent and a proclamation of commitment that state the obvious. I mean, what organisation wants to publicly state that it intends […]

What is a Safety Management System?

A safety management system is just a collection of documents describing how a business intends to respond to safety matters. Some are good and some are not so good – a lot depends on why the system is developed in the first place and the commitment of the business to make it work.
The developers of some safety management systems appear to believe that the value of the system is determined by the weight of documents that make it up. Reams of documents of indeterminate length, full of jargon and irrelevancies – they’re a bureaucratic nightmare. The opposite is also true. Some systems are so brief and scant on detail that the whole set of documents would fit into your wallet. Neither approach has any real impact on the way a business operates nor achieves any significant improvement in safety performance.
So what makes a good safety management system? The first thing […]