Health & Safety

Health & Safety Focus

SMS - What Has Texting Got To Do With Health & Safety?

Hello and welcome to our first Health & Safety Focus session. In these sessions we will be exploring various Health & Safety topics and providing you with some straight forward pragmatic information regarding ‘real world' solutions in relation to Health & Safety workplace compliance. As part of this process we will also be opening up (for a limited time only) the relevant sections of our First Line Support System which will provide further information about the Focus subject matter.

Over the course of the next twelve months we will be bringing you the following Focus sessions:

  • Risk Assessment - truth, lies and red tape?
  • Contractors - nothing to do with me?
  • Fire Safety - some things you can just not get wrong...
  • D.S.E. - a pain in the neck?
  • CoSHH? - is that something to do with a good sense of humour?

Our first Focus sessions is based around the concept of a Safety Management System or SMS. We are often asked by clients how on earth they are supposed to manage Health & Safety and run a business at the same time. The answer to this is quite simple - they need to have an SMS in place which is fit for purpose and reflects their place of work & its compliance needs.

In this Focus session we are going to explore the basic components of an SMS and the reasoning behind their importance in workplace safety. There are a variety of SMS's available which can be used as models. Some of these are accredited by external bodies such as OHSAS 18001 and some are not.

For the purpose of this Focus we will be using the Health & Safety Executives' Guidance Note HSG (65) as the basic structure of a SMS:

 

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HS(G) 65 is free to download here and we would urge all of our clients to do this:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg65.htm

In this Focus we will be summarising some of the major components of HS(G) 65. A fuller explanation of the Guidance Note can be found following the link above. 

An SMS (such as HS(G) 65) has one simple purpose in life. It is there to provide a process by which safety related issues can be planned, implemented, measured and reviewed. This is the basic principle behind the Plan, Do, Check, Act model.

Each SMS must be relevant to the working environment. For example, a nuclear power plant's SMS would be far more complicated and involved then let's say an office's SMS. Therefore the level of management and detail contained within the SMS needs to be proportionate to the levels of risk found in the workplace.

To investigate how this might impact on you, we are going to look at the following areas as part of this Focus:

Effective Planning - What is a Health & Safety Policy? - We will examine the basic components of a Health & Safety Policy and describe the activities around the concept of planning for implementation. Due to be published on the ....

Doing - The Role of Risk Profiling- Here we will look into the concept of risk profiling Due to be published on ....

Doing - Organisation and the Implementation of your Plan. - Having plans and good intentions is great but there comes a point where you need to back up your good intentions with action. Here we will examine the practice of implementing your plans. Due to be published on ....

Check - The role of Active Monitoring. - Once you have put your controls into place, you need to know if they are working in the way in which you intended. Active Monitoring is one of the mechanisms which you can use to achieve this. Due to be published on ...

Check - The role of Reactive Monitoring. - Sometimes things still can go wrong, even with all of your best laid plans in place. Reactive Monitoring is the investigation of causation factors behind accidents / near misses etc and forms part of the feedback loop towards continual improvement. Due to be published on ...

Acting - The benefits of a Formal Review and lessons to be learnt. - Here we examine the role of internal / external audits and explain why a feedback loop to the Policy and other aspects of the SMS is essential if continual improvement is to be achieved. Due to be published on the ...

Summary - Effective proactive management and the SMS. We will be summarising our Focus on the ...