Every business involves a certain level of safety risks that must be handled in a proper manner. Safety Management System (SMS) refers to a set of structured processes that aim to minimise safety risks at the workplace and help companies to deliver services/products at the highest possible level of safety. By taking safety measures at your organisation, you can ensure that the staff and customers receive the protection they deserve. As research tells us, successfully implementing a safety management system is heavily reliant on the level of commitment of both employees and the management, as well as an adequate commitment of resources to design and implement the system.
Components of safety management system
Businesses differ in many aspects, including the risks and safety issues they evolve. This means that the same safety management system cannot be practised across a group of companies that provide different services. Accordingly, a car manufacturing company may not go for a safety management system implemented by a construction company. So, you need to know that while every safety management system is unique, they have several components in common. Among such components are safety policy and objectives, safety risk management, identifying and controlling hazards, staff training, incident analysis, and so forth. The main components of a successful safety management system are explained below.
Safety policy and objectives:
The first step in implementing a safety management system is determining safety policy and objectives. The management should set safety goals as policy and let every member of the team know what they should do to help the team reach its safety objectives. Setting safety objectives also conveys the idea that you are committed to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for your staff, making them work with less stress and mental health issues.
Safety risk management
After defining the objectives, it’s time to appoint well-trained members to effectively control safety risks. Predicting and preventing potential risks are the main purpose of safety risk management. In order to predict and prevent potential risks, several measures must be taken, which include assessing potential hazards, constant inspections of the workplace, incident reporting systems, training the workers, and performance measurement tools.
Identifying and controlling hazards
Hazard identification and control is an important element in the program. It is a system that aims at identifying, controlling, and eliminating existing or potential hazards in the workplace. This is, of course, easier said than done, and yet an absolute must that needs preparation and training. If you witness the same types of hazards occurring again and again, then you should know that there is a breakdown in the safety management system that must be dealt with immediately.
Your employees should learn about the workplace hazards that might injure them as well as how they can spot and control such hazards. The best way for them to obtain this knowledge is through proper education and excellent training. Education helps the staff learn why safe practices and procedures matter. It affects the employees’ attitudes toward workplace safety and changes their behaviour accordingly.
In the same vein, training helps them obtain the skills necessary for working safely. Employees must understand safety and health rules, workplace risks and hazards, safe work procedures, and how to react in emergencies. Constant safety and health training is the key element that helps improve this knowledge. Like employees, managers and supervisors need proper education and training.
Sometimes, despite all your efforts, you may experience a catastrophe in the workplace. This is only natural and understandable. Yet, it is your duty to find out why the catastrophe happened and how you can prevent its recurrence. This is where incident analysis comes into play. The incident analysis aims to answer the following questions:
A. How did the incident happen?
B. Why did it happen?
C. What should be done to prevent it from happening again.
Evaluating the safety management system
With proper time intervals, say once or twice a year, every safety management system must be reviewed and evaluated. The main objective here is to see if the system is working well and, more importantly, if improvements in the system are available. In doing so, you can talk to your employees and supervisors to see if they believe unnoticed hazards are lurking around or if further measures can be taken to enforce safe work practices.
How can we help?
To officially guarantee your staff’s safety against workplace hazards, you need to obtain one of the ISO certificates mentioned below. Obtaining an ISO certificate mandates meeting some requirements, and this is where IntegPro can help. InterPro offers the quickest and the most efficient way of implementing an SMS from start to certification and beyond the following international standards:
ISO 45001 > Superseded