A Safety Management System (SMS) is an initiative for improving work safety and reducing various risks to employees in the work environment. SMS is implemented to identify, assess, and manage potential hazards to employees and customers in all the organization’s operations.
An effective safety management system prevents employees’ injuries and avoids unnecessary process failures. So we can improve the long-term profitability of the organization by implementing SMS.
While the safety management system concept might seem quite simple at first glance, the actual implementation can be quite complex. It might involve in-depth planning, complicated interpersonal management, and coordination.
Safety Management System Implementation: Step-By-Step
Here, we will discuss all you need to know about implementing a proper safety management system in your organization. By the end, you’ll be able to use what we’ve shared to improve your business process, workflows, and especially the safety of your employees and customers.
Let’s look at the steps you can follow to implement Safety Management System.
Step 1: Elect A PIC
Before anything else, the said organization needs to appoint a competent person to take responsibility for implementing the safety management system (SMS) as the person-in-charge (PIC).
According to your organization’s size and specific needs, this person must have undergone sufficient health and safety training, and certified training is preferred.
For smaller businesses and businesses with relatively low risks, basic health and safety courses might be adequate. Still, for larger/more complex businesses, you might want to consider advanced courses and certifications.
Step 2: Risk Assessment
In many countries, risk assessment is a legal obligation for businesses (even smaller businesses). So it’s very important to perform this step.
In small and relatively ‘safe’ businesses, for example, those that only involve office work, then typically, you’ll only need to consider risks related to fire, first aid, and occupational hygiene. However, if your business involves more high-risk activities (i.e. working at height, scaffolding, etc.), then you’ll need to perform a more in-depth risk assessment.
For fire risk assessment, you’ll need to design a plan in the event of a fire and consider where it will be. You must also plan proper training of staff to tackle fire hazards. You should also appoint someone to take charge of delivering first aid to staff, customers, and contractors that require immediate attention, and you should always have at least one first aid kit ready on-premise.
A safety management software like iReportSource can significantly help you in performing safety audits and risk assessments. You’ll be able to audit your current system and comprehend the audit findings through discovery to planning to successful closure.
Step 3: Planning Safety Programs And Policies
It would help if you involved your staff when designing safety programs and policies for implementing Safety Management System.
Even if you’ve invested in expensive technology and infrastructure to reduce risk, all of these technologies would only work with adequate human cooperation. Consult your team (at least the team leaders) about the policies, and allow them to voice their feedback and concerns.
Write down your policy (there are various templates available online), and plan the required financial investment to execute these policies.
Also, remember that all policies need to be monitored, set up a monitoring system, and assign someone who will be responsible for implementing and monitoring any specific policy. Without a proper monitoring system, it would be not easy to evaluate whether the system is working and whether additional training is required.
Step 4: Training
Safety management training is often the most important and yet the most challenging aspect of implementing a Safety Management System.
You can use iReport Source tools to automatically assign training, reminders, and due dates. You can also track each staff’s usage on each training material.
Your training programs must especially cover your security policies and measures, hazards, and policies on safely using work equipment. The key here is finding the right type of training that will suit your business needs according to the risk assessment we’ve covered above. This can be a subjective process, and you can add more training programs as required.
Also, remember that training is a two-way process. You should listen to staff’s suggestions regarding how they feel the training programs can be improved. Implement these changes when appropriate.
Step 5: Monitoring System
You should set up a monitoring system to monitor the implementation of the safety management system in the following areas:
- Near misses
- Safety audits and inspections
- Corrective actions
- Overall health and wellness
- Environmental hazards
- Budget spend
Again, having proper safety management software like iReportSource can significantly help monitor the implementation of your SMS. You can easily and automatically get the required reports to make your life easier.
Step 6: Control And Adjust
Based on the objective/purpose of the Safety Management System implementation and the KPIs you’ve monitored, you can make the necessary adjustments to the safety management system and keep the monitor and control cycle going as needed.
You should regularly adjust your safety management system to lower exposure to hazards and improve the cost-efficiency of the SMS.
Safety management systems are responsible for monitoring, evaluating, and ultimately fixing any errors that might risk the safety of your employees, customers, and everyone involved in your business processes.
When a company has a Safety Management System in place, safety measures can be implemented properly and conduction the required training for staff and employees so they can stay in compliance with your safety policies.