A safety management system (SMS) is a systematic approach towards managing the safety protocols, such as organizational structures, accountabilities, policies, and procedures of an organization. It helps ensure that all the important precautions are taken to avoid any serious emergencies.
Consider this: On July 25, 1988, a 17-year-old assistant pool manager was electrocuted when she came in contact with an underground electric motor. It was noted that the employee had worked for three months with the municipality and that each employee there received a one-week orientation session and on-the-job training for every task assigned. Although the municipality had an existing safety management system in place, the system was just not strong enough to ensure that the work environment was free of safety hazards.
An effective safety management system is an important tool that ensures your workplace follows all the standards set in ISO 9001 and offers a safe working environment for employees. While such systems make health and safety an integral component of your business, they require you to consider different aspects to truly succeed in creating a safe workplace. Here are five things that can help you build an effective safety management system:
1. A Safety Plan
A safety plan helps analyze the current and prospective risks for a company and discusses all the strategies that can be implemented to keep these risks under control over a calendared period.
For a safety management system to support your business goals, it is important to include a safety plan that clearly explains all the safety obligations every worker needs to comply with and ensures that there is a proper governance structure within your company.
2. Clear Policies, Procedures, and Processes
Well-defined policies, procedures, and processes are the foundation of a well-managed business. A safety management system that covers every aspect of your company should have properly outlined guidelines that describe safety behavior, expectations, record keeping, incident reporting, and accident notification documentation infrastructures.
3. Ease of Use and the Importance of Training
You might have designed a system that brilliantly covers all the important health and safety related aspects of your company, but can your company’s management and employees easily and effectively use it? A system that is not user-friendly and difficult to manage can cause chaos in the future. Opt for a safety management system that can be easily accessed and updated, and allows everyone in your company to make the most out of it.
In addition, it is essential that every employee receives proper training and instructions to understand the safety rules of your company. The following should be made mandatory:
- All new employees should receive a general safety orientation session that discusses the company’s safety regulations and emergency procedures.
- All existing and new employees should be provided with ISO 9001 training.
4. Effective Monitoring
For businesses involving high-risk practices, a monitoring system should be made an essential part of their safety management system. The monitoring schedule should depend on the nature of your work and the degree of risks involved. A few other occasions that require detailed monitoring include:
- Any changes made to the standard processes.
- A follow-up/investigation of a past incident.
5. Performance Measurement through Supervision & Reporting
Implementing well-rounded safety measures requires relying on successful performance measurement techniques to evaluate the effectiveness of the entire safety management system. To ensure that your employees are following all the safety protocols, you need to integrate adequate supervision and monitoring techniques into your SMS. In addition, you must also make sure that everyone in your company is well informed about all the quality, security, and sustainability standards.
It is important for businesses to dedicate their time and resources to designing a safety management system that is unique and customized to meet the organization’s special needs. The system should offer flexibility to effectively cater to the exact size and complexity of the company’s ever-growing needs.
How can you ensure that your workplace environment is safe for your employees? Register your safety managers to ISO 9001 courses that provide training about globally recognized best practices to implement a system that complies with the ISO safety standards.