A safety and health system for your business.

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by Rudi Nieuwoud, CEO and Founder of RUANSA HSE Consultants

As an employer, it is your responsibility to maintain a safe and healthy workplace. A safety and health management system, developed by RUANSA, can help you focus your efforts at improving your work environment. Your tailor made plan describes what the people in your organization do to prevent injuries and illnesses at your workplace. 

Your organization will have its own unique system, reflecting your way of doing business, the hazards of your work, and how you manage the safety and health of your employees:

  • If you manage a small business in a low-risk industry, your system may simply involve listening to your employees' concerns and responding to them.
  • A large business in a hazardous industry may have files full of written policies and procedures and a full-time safety manager.

What's most important is that your system works for your organization.

What makes a RUANSA developed safety management system successful?

RUANSA has identified several common denominators in successful HSE management systems  which are;

1. Managers are trained and committed to making the program work.

Put as much energy into your commitment to safety and health as you put into any other important part of your business. Make sure to include workplace safety and health in your business plan and integrate it into all facets of the business.

2. Employees are involved in the program.

In a safe and healthy workplace, employees have a stake in the success of the program --- safety and health is everyone's responsibility. Actively encourage employee involvement if you want your program to succeed. Hold people accountable and make sure everyone does their part.

3. There is a system to identify and control hazards.

Before you can control hazards you need to know what the hazards are. Here are some ways to identify safety and health hazards:

  • Review records of accidents, injuries, illnesses, and close calls
  • review first aid logs, workers' compensation reports, complaints, and close calls
  • look for trends or common factors in
    • kinds of injuries or illnesses
    • parts of body
    • time of day/shift
    • location
    • equipment
    • protective equipment
    • department
  • Survey employees
  • Review inspection reports from enforcement inspections.
  • Inspect your workplace for safety and health problems, current and potential. 
    • Use checklists to locate dangerous conditions.
    • Watch employees work to spot unsafe work practices.
    • Perform Job Hazard Analysis.
    • Conduct air and noise sampling where exposures exist.

Once you know the hazards, you can decide how to control them.

4. Compliance with regulations.

Employers must identify the regulations that apply in their workplaces and comply with them. RUANSA can assist your organization with this.

5. Training on safe work practices.

Train employees about the hazards they may be exposed to at work and how to protect themselves. Keep records of all training. Provide:

  • General safety induction for new employees and employees starting new jobs, including company safety regulations and emergency procedures.
  • Specific training on the hazards of their jobs and how to do their jobs safely.
  • Retraining
    • As required by the standards
    • When jobs change
    • When employees return from long absence
    • As needed to ensure employees know how to do their jobs safely.

6. Continuous improvement of the system.

Review your program's strengths and weaknesses. Does it accurately reflect how you want to manage safety and health?

  • Review annually and as needed
  • Investigate accidents, injuries, illnesses and close calls as they occur.
  • Conduct frequent (daily, weekly as needed) inspections of specific equipment and processes.
  • Evaluate your injury and illness statistics
  • Document all your safety efforts.
  • Change analysis: Review new and changed processes, materials, facilities and equipment for hazards
  • Ensure hazard correction systems are in place and working
  • Evaluate effectiveness of training
  • Listen to your staff: Do employees know the hazards of their jobs and how to work safely? Are managers enforcing safe work practices and praising safe behavior?

To get your Organization's HSE Management System working for you then contact RUANSA!