A well-planned and carefully implemented safety management policy is a great asset in preparing both physical and human resources and reducing financial losses and liabilities. By mapping and controlling the risks, each organisation is able to reach an improved performance in health and safety issues. That’s why it’s crucial to have a well-functioning safety management plan that complies with regulations.
Generally, every country has a law defining which kind of organisations are required to introduce their own safety plans. Often the need is defined by the size of the company. We recommend studying local legislation to make sure you comply with it.
Safety measures vary among industries
It’s very natural that safety issues and possible deviations vary greatly between different industries. A big manufacturing site has very distinct safety issues in comparison to, let’s say, a downtown office. Locations with big footfall have different risks and important sites like main airports or railway stations have to consider other additional threats such as terrorism.
However, there are several safety features that are shared by all organisations and industries. The goal is the same: to have safety procedures that keep the people safe and simultaneously support the business operations.
Everybody is expected to know the safety procedures
The safety management plan should be reviewed and updated frequently or whenever there’s a change in safety procedures or in governmental regulations. It’s also important to make sure that the plan is not only available to all employees but that they are all actually familiar with the instructions. If an incident happens, it’s too late to start looking for a safety manual, but the people are expected to know what to do and whom to report to. We firmly believe that safety is not the sole responsibility of a safety manager, but it’s everyone’s responsibility.
Every company should also consider making their safety plan public and make it easily accessible online. It helps the organisation members to find the information faster, but also the public is able to see that the organisation carefully considers safety matters. However, not all the information should be out there. This especially applies to institutions that are operating on higher risk levels. Examples are border security or state embassies. It’s a good idea to consider if publishing safety information creates more safety or more risks.
Crafting the plan
When you’re finally writing out the plan, these are the 15 key questions and tasks to consider:
1. How to avoid the hazards created by work activities? Who is responsible for assessing the risks? What are the proactive actions to be taken at the company?
2. Whom should people report to if an incident happens? What is the chain of command? How is the safety report done? Who is reporting to the local authorities?
3. What are the safety performance standards in the organisation? How is the performance measured? What are good metrics? Identify the immediate causes of substandard performance, but also any underlying causes which may have implications for safety measures.
4. How are you effectively communicating the safety policy?
5. Where are the evacuation points? Are they properly marked?
6. Where are the fire extinguishers located?
7. Are the employees familiar with first-aid?
8. Are possible sub-contractors operating under your safety guidelines?
9. Are there external competent persons available if organisation safety requires it?
10. Are the company employees invited to contribute their recommendations of improvement?
11. Arrange all necessary insurances.
12. Assess the health and safety competence of everyone working for the organisation.
13. Ensure that appropriate training is given to all staff members as necessary.
14. Arrange for funds and facilities to meet requirements of the safety plan.
15. Always set a personal example.
Once you're set with the safety plan, the next step is to select the most suitable reporting system. It's a good idea to compare options and understand why you should choose saas over a bespoke app. Our recommendation is an easy-to-use web and mobile tool incy.io.
For additional reading, we suggest you to have a look at our blog series about the VUCA framework. For a real-life example of how incy.io helped a company streamline their incident reporting, get the Citycon Case Study below:
We're a tech company with a passion for helping our customers adapt to the fast changing VUCA world. We're doing that by developing easy-to-use SaaS products that make gathering, managing and analysing field information as easy as possible for the end users. Remove gatekeepers, go horizontal and learn from your mistakes before they actually happen. More info at planbrothers.io.