- Do you have a safe system of work? What is a safe system?
- Would the formal procedures include?
- Is that all?
- When is a safe system of work required?
- Do I have a choice?
- What if you don’t have the time, the staff or the expertise?
Do you have a safe system of work?
What is a safe system of work?
A safe system of work incorporates a logical, well-thought out approach which combines materials, people, plant, equipment, task and environment.
It should fully identify and document all the hazards, safety precautions and safe working practices associated with all activities performed by employees.
When work tasks have been fully examined and the hazards associated with them have been identified, formal procedures then define safe methods to ensure that hazards are eliminated or the risks minimised.
What would the formal procedures include?
- Electrical Safety Policy/Rules
- Permit to Work Systems
- Safe Working Procedures
- Risk Assessment Procedures
Is that all?
No. Having put the system in place you then have to:
- Implement a training programme for staff in procedures and policy
- Keep monitoring to determine the effectiveness of the systems and how well staff comply with them
- Introduce a means to review and update your systems
- Implement programme to keep staff informed about changes etc.
When is a safe system of work required?
You need one when hazards cannot be physically eliminated and some element of risk remains.
Do I have a choice?
No – it’s the Law!
Section 2(2)a of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires that employers provide and maintain systems of work that are safe and without risk to health, as far as is reasonably practicable.
If a deficient or non-existent safe system of work harms, or worse still, contributes to the death of someone at your work place, you can be prosecuted personally under health and safety legislation such as the Health and Safety Offences Act 2008, if you are directly implicated.
If there is a fatality, your company could be prosecuted under the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007.
What if you don’t have the time, the staff or the expertise to do all of that?
GUARDIAN can help. How? We can:
- Design and write your procedures and documents
- Train your staff
- Monitor and record compliance