Do you need a Safety Management System?

July 20, 2019

Many companies have recognised that managing workplace health & safety is an effective way to provide a better working environment for employees, reduce wastage, loss time and other associated costs. It also brings repeatable results due to a consistent approach and when processes are repeatable, they can be methodically improved, therefore securing employee safety and company assets.

Making a systematic approach to management makes managing your business both easier and more effective. You work out the best way to handle each key activity and make sure that everyone uses the same approach every time.

A consistent approach like this reduces the number of mistakes and the cost of correcting problems. It also reduces the level of risk and ensures that you comply with laws. This can positively influence your business in many ways including:

  • Improved health and safety performance by your business will reduce the costs associated with accidents and incidents.
  • Improved awareness of legal requirements reduces the chance that you will commit any offences. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Inspectors and Local Authority Environmental Health Officers will generally regulate your business with a lighter touch if it is well managed.
  • You will reduce the potential for the HSE to apply the Fees For Intervention (FFI) framework where you are charged for their time.
  • If employees see that you are actively looking after their health and safety, relations and morale will improve.
  • The public see that you are taking a responsible attitude towards your employees. This improves your image and helps generate positive PR for your business.
  • Improving the efficiency of your business reduces your costs.
  • You can demonstrate to your insurers that you are controlling risk effectively. This may help lower your insurance premiums.
  • Banks and investors will be more willing to finance your business if you can show that it is well managed.
  • Business partners have more confidence in your business. Larger companies and government agencies may only buy from businesses that can show effective management systems.

A key component in safety management is the software system used to record, manage, and analyse safety-related data. With an effective system, the management team can see and access real time information and share this across the business.

A safety system should not only standardise a company’s safety operations, but also encourage accountability throughout the entire organisation. In addition, it should seamlessly handle ever-expanding compliance requirements and be versatile enough to adapt as requirements change.

Different Approaches to Safety Management

Companies use many systems and approaches to manage their day-to-day activities. Paper forms, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, and single-purpose software applications are some of the ways safety data is recorded, accidents are investigated, and follow-up is performed. In some cases, the number of safety issues that require attention is low, making these systems adequate, though not very informative. When the volume of safety occurrences rises, however, and interaction among multiple people and departments is needed, more sophisticated safety systems should be considered.

Take the case of a large organisation with multiple locations and safety staff throughout. The management team at each location is tracking and managing a high volume of information of which health and safety is just a part.

This scenario creates some challenges. For example, challenges that result from not having a common set of processes ( standardisation) are the inability to:

  • ensure compliance at all locations
  • assess what’s working and what isn’t
  • share information and collaborate effectively
  • implement a system of ongoing improvement.

Selecting the right solution for your organisation is a critical step in the process of improving your systems and obtaining standard compliant documentation.

Whilst there are many such solutions in the market place, Outset has developed a suite of solutions to suit businesses of all sizes and industry sectors. Our ‘Primed’ has been designed by industry professionals that understand the documentation required by businesses in order to be compliant and defend any potential criminal or civil actions.

Our comprehensive system offers a variety of occupational health and safety capabilities in a single system. Where necessary it will support geographically dispersed operations, yet be centrally managed. Being cloud based means that it will be accessible almost anywhere and will remain up to date with legislative requirements and best practice.

The system will support your organisation in managing documentation relating to policies, procedures and forms. Subject specific areas such as asbestos and fire safety management are also included within the system along with access to a library of risk assessments and method statements that can be easily adapted to suit your requirements.

In summary, to simplify and manage your organisation’s safety operations, identify and eliminate dangerous situations, and make your premises safer, it’s important to have a robust safety management system in place. Reviewing the options available will help ensure the safety of your employees and reduce the associated costs in managing health and safety, which could prove enlightening and cost effective.

For a free consultation about our safety management, included within our Primed service, please contact Mark O’Shaughnessy – 01622 474 156.

Primed is professional service support brought to you from Outset; a Flint trusted partner company.

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