Safety Management Systems in the Workplace

The human resources of any company are its most valuable assets.  The team gets the job done and the company would be lost without the team members.  It is important for staff members to remain happy and free of injury.  After all, absenteeism could cost the company a fortune in decreased productivity, lost business and wages.  Therefore it is tremendously important to have workplace safety management systems in place to protect employees.

The term safety management system is used in reference to a comprehensive business management system that is designed to control safety elements within the workplace.  Safety management systems provide a systematic method of identifying hazards and controlling risks, while ensuring that the risk controls are indeed effective.  Safety management can be defined as an explicit, comprehensive and systematic process that is used to manage safety risks.  Similar to all management systems, safety management makes provision for planning, goal setting and measuring performance and it is intertwined into the fabric of the organization.

An implied moral obligation is placed on employers to make the workplace safe and legislative requirements are there in pretty much every jurisdiction on how workplace safety is to be achieved. Three imperatives exist for adopting a workplace safety management system, they are financial, legal and ethical.  

To address these imperatives, an effective safety system should:

Define the risk management system that the organization has in place.

Identify risk in the workplace and implement appropriate controls.

Implement processes to identify and address non-conformity.

Implement effective communications throughout the various levels of the company.

Utilize a process of continual improvement.

How to Improve Workplace Safety

Sniff Out Trouble

Strategies should be put in place to identify hidden hazards and they should be promptly removed. Ensure that equipment is well-maintained, pathways are clear, carry out checks to ensure that boxes are safely stacked and make sure that safety equipment is accessible and functioning.  Patrol all areas regularly and ensure that rules and regulations for safety are being followed.

Device a Plan

Create and communicate rules and policies regarding workplace safety.  Ensure that employees are trained on how to safely perform their jobs.  Make sure that first aid supplies are easily accessible.  Additionally, prepare employees for emergencies by putting in place a fire escape plan.

Prevent Falls

Trips and falls could result in serious injuries.  Identify likely hazards and fix them.  Provide training for employees on the safe use of equipment, spotting unsafe conditions and avoiding injury.  Monitor work spaces regularly to make sure that standards of safety are met.


The best method of ensuring that employees remain safe is by providing them with training in health and safety.  Teach staff members how to identify potential hazards, use ergonomically sound practices and stick to policies.  Find out from employees what would make the jobs easier to carry out and solicit their help in coming up with solutions.

While it is impossible keep employees in a protective bubble, workplaces can be transformed into healthier and safer environments.  Ensure that safety is ingrained in the culture of the company from the ground up.

Author Bio:
Article written by Arnold Sommers.

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