Health and Safety Management Plans bring together the key things that an organisation needs to agree and document to achieve and maintain a safe working environment. Health and Safety Plans cover all aspects of safety management including such things as hazard management, accident and incident reporting, emergency readiness, along with other areas such as contractor management.
Health and Safety Planning will enable progress to be mapped and performance monitored. Your Health and Safety Plans cannot be successful unless supported by all people in your organisation – ALL – not just those who know what a Health and Safety plan is.
A collection of documents called policies usually forms the basis of a Health and Safety Manual. Policy is usually the first, formative part of the process. Putting together a Health and Safety Plan to support a planning process fits together to form a system something like this.
Health and Safety Management covers the operation of the system including the Health and Safety Plan, the Health and Safety Planning process. The Health and Safety Manual usually forms the basis of the planning process.
The Health and Safety Management planning cycle illustrated is the Activ-8 way of doing things. To support our process we use the ACC Guide to making a Health and Safety plan – see below
Making a health and safety plan
Developing a safe and healthy workplace makes good business sense. Your employees will feel more valued and visitors will be protected from harm. It’s likely to increase productivity and reduce the cost impact on your business of any downtime from employee injuries.
Effective health and safety management systems result from your leadership and commitment. Everyone has a duty to work safely and report hazards, but you still need to manage and coordinate the overall health and safety programme.
What you must do
|Systematically manage health and safety in the workplace|
|Include staff in developing your workplace health and safety measures|
|Maintain an accident and incident register|
|Identify hazards then eliminate, isolate, or minimize them|
What you could do
The ACC Work Safe Cycle is a simple and effective method you can use to set up and operate your safety systems. Following the three steps in a continuous cycle enables you to keep on improving your health and safety systems.
Step One: Review
Meet with your staff to identify all the hazards in your workplace. Since this is a continuous improvement cycle, you need to return regularly to the review step to monitor your planning and action steps, investigate any incidents that have occurred and review your injury management and emergency readiness. Any suggested improvements feed through to the planning step.
Step Two: Plan
Decide how you will manage the hazards. Your priorities are:
Eliminate the hazard if possible. For example, replace a toxic chemical with a non-toxic substitute or replace a noisy machine with a quieter one.
If you can’t eliminate the hazard then isolate it. For example, fit protective guards around dangerous machinery parts.
If you can’t eliminate or isolate the hazard then minimise it. For example, require people to wear protective ear muffs, hard hats, goggles, masks and boots when working in dangerous areas.
Include a process for monitoring the health and safety of employees exposed to hazards.
Use the planning step to cover issues such as training and supervision, emergency readiness and injury management.
Step Three: Action
Map out your health and safety programme. Remember to assign responsibility for each required action, include a budget if necessary and set a timeframe for completion.
Commitment and communication
Two further key elements in the Work Safe Cycle are commitment and communication. It’s important to get your whole team involved in health and safety. Commitment starts with you. If you don’t take health and safety seriously then why should others?
Open and honest communication throughout the cycle is vital to keep everyone involved and contributing to the health and safety improvement cycle.
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