There are many types to choose from to outline the basic components of a safety management system, the one chosen here is the international standard promoted by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The key elements of a successful safety and health management system are-
✓ Policy and Commitment
✓ Implementation and operation
✓ Measuring performance
✓ Auditing and reviewing performance
To further enhance workplace safety, it is recommended for individuals consider pursuing a fire engineering and industrial safety management course. This specialized course can provide valuable knowledge and skills related to fire prevention and emergency response, as well as occupational safety and health management.
In addition, organizations can also implement an Occupational Safety Health & Environment Management System (OSHEMS) to improve workplace safety and health. An OSHEMS is a structured approach to managing safety, health, and environmental risks in the workplace. It can help organizations identify hazards and risks, set targets for improvement, and monitor performance.
Policy and commitment- The workplace should prepare an occupational safety and health policy program as part of the preparation of the Safety Statement required by the Safety, Health, and Welfare at Work Act 2005. Effective safety and health policies should set a clear direction for the organization to follow. They will contribute to all aspects of business performance as part of a demonstrable commitment to continuous improvement. Cost-effective approaches to preserving and developing human and physical resources will reduce financial losses and liabilities. In a wider context, stakeholders‘ expectations, whether they are shareholders, employees or their representatives, customers or society at large can be met.
Organizing – How is the organization structured, how is the accountabilities defined, and who reports to whom and who is responsible for what.
Planning – The workplace should formulate a plan to fulfill its safety and health policy as set out in the Safety Statement. An effective management structure and arrangements should be put in place for delivering the policy. Safety and health objectives and targets should be set for all managers and employees.
Implementation and operation- For effective implementation, organizations should develop the capabilities and support mechanisms necessary to achieve the safety and health policy, objectives, and targets. All staff should be motivated and empowered to work safely and to protect their long-term health, not simply to avoid accidents. These arrangements should be:
✓ Implemented by effective staff involvement and participation through appropriate consultation, the use of the safety committee where it exists and the safety representation system and
✓ Sustained by effective communication and the promotion of competence, which allows all employees and their representatives to make contributions to safety and health.
There should be a planned and systematic approach to implementing the safety and health policy through an effective safety and health management system. The aim is to minimize risks. Risk Assessment methods should be used to determine priorities and set objectives for eliminating hazards and reducing risks.
Wherever possible, risks should be eliminated through the proper selection and design of facilities, equipment and processes. If risks cannot be eliminated, they should be minimized by the use of physical controls and safe systems of work or, as a last resort, through the provision of PPE. Performance standards should be established and used for measuring achievement. Specific actions to promote a positive safety and health culture should be identified.
Measuring performance- The organization should measure, monitor and evaluate safety and health performance. Performance can be measured against agreed standards to reveal when and where improvement is needed. Active self-monitoring reveals how effectively the safety and health management system is functioning. Self-monitoring looks at both hardware (premises, plant, and substances) and software (people, procedures, and systems, including individual behavior and performance). If controls fail, reactive monitoring should find out why they failed, by investigating the accidents, ill health, or incidents, which could have caused harm or loss. The objectives of active and reactive monitoring are:
✓ To determine the immediate causes of substandard performance
✓ To identify any underlying causes and implications for the design and operation of the safety and health management system.
Auditing and reviewing performance- The organization should review and improve its safety and health management system continuously so that their overall safety and health performance improves constantly. The organization can learn from relevant experience and apply the lessons. There should be a systematic review of performance based on data from monitoring and from independent audits of the whole safety and health management system. Performance should be assessed by:
✓ Internal reference to key performance indicators
✓ External comparison with the performance of business competitors and best practices in the organization’s employment sector.
Many companies now report on how well they have performed on worker safety and health in their annual reports and how they have fulfilled their responsibilities with regard to preparing and implementing their Safety Statements. In addition, employers have greater responsibilities under Section 80 of the 2005 Act on Liability of Directors and Officers of Undertakings’ which requires them to be in a position to prove they have pro-actively managed the safety and health of their workers. Data from this ‘Auditing and reviewing performance’ process should be used for these purposes.