Managing Safety in 5 Steps

Just 5 steps to successful health and safety

Directors and Managers can be held personally responsible for failures to control health and safety.

Think about how health and safety fits in with other important management systems for controlling finance, production and sales. Don’t try to complicate things – most small businesses have simple management structures.

Step 1: Set Your Policy

Prepare a safety policy, keep it simple and relevant to your business, after all it is your safety policy. 

Step 2: Get Organised
The 4 C’s………

Think of all your managers, supervisors, and employees.
Decide who is responsible for which safety duties, make sure that there are no overlaps or gaps, and that everyone knows their own responsibilities.

Train yourself and train your staff as everyone needs to have knowledge, skills and experience to be able to work in a safe and healthy manner.

Involve all employees at all levels through regular meetings and briefings. Listen to what your staff have to say.

Written and verbal communication is essential to the success of any management system.

Step 3: Planning
Think about your business, your premises, your staff and your equipment. Ask yourself what exists that can cause harm and what is the chance, great or small, that someone will be harmed. Weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm. Set standards against which performance can be measured. These must be both realistic and achievable

For example:
Ensure electrical appliances are tested (PAT)
Methods and frequency for checking guards on machines
Methods and frequency for checking fire safety equipment


 Step 4: Measuring Performance
Draw up simple check lists and inspection forms to ensure your standards are being implemented.

For example, a ladder defect check – which should include details such as location, date of check, frequency of check, action taken if a defect is discovered and the signature of the person undertaking the check. If things go wrong, learn from your mistakes. Carry out thorough accident investigations and use the information to make policy or procedural changes if necessary.

 Step 5: Audit and Review
Everything changes over time, so you must continuously monitor your policy, organisation and systems to ensure that you continue to achieve the right results. Don’t just write a policy, and leave it on the shelf!