There are many SEN’s clients which work in a wide variety of industries all with a very different approach to health, safety, and environment (HSE) management systems. This article is written down from our experiences of hundred projects which had done before.
Whether you are a safety employee for a small to midsize manufacturer, or managing a remote site project with thousands of employees, you need a well-documented HSE management system to ensure that you and your people are safe. Your company’s system must be written down, communicated, and practiced.
Most successful health, safety, and environment management systems contain the following 10 key elements:
- A way to control and distribute up-to-date documents
Every HSE system needs a way to distribute up-to-date documents to the right people. Creating protocols in this area helps ensure that employees always have access to current and correct safety information.
- Safety inspection checklists
Creating safety inspection checklists serves many purposes—they establish a baseline for the quality of inspections no matter who is performing them, can decrease the amount of time it takes to perform inspections, and provide data on areas of safety that are improving or declining over time.
- Risk Assessments
Risk assessments help you protect employees from potential harm, and your business from potential fines lawsuits. After identifying potential hazards to your workers, you can determine areas of safety non-compliance and devise and implement solutions.
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- Emergency response plan
Although we hope you never have to use an emergency response plan, it’s always better to have one in place than to scramble during an emergency. Legislation requires emergency response plans to include how to report an emergency, evacuation procedures and assembly points, procedures to shut down project operations, rescue and medical duties for any workers assigned to perform them, and contact information for individuals with more information. Additionally, emergency response plans can contain information on local hospitals and medical services, and medical evacuation procedures.
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- Training program and documentation system
Employee safety training programs can include fire drills, accident simulations, and even first aid to advanced medical training. Other types of training include correct use of PPEs, forklift safety, and hazardous waste management. While legislation does not require documentation of all types of training, it’s a best practice to keep documentation—these notes can be useful when planning future trainings.
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- Internal audit policy and schedule
Health and safety audits are another great way to ensure compliance with safety laws, as well as identify strengths and weaknesses in your HSE management system. Either an internal or external auditor can perform the audit, and no matter which route you choose, audits should be performed on a regular basis. Documentation from audits can be used to compare improvements and issues from year-to-year, identify trends, and create new safety initiatives based on audit data.
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- Regulatory Compliance Management
Non-compliance can have serious ramifications in terms of financial liability (penalties and fines), institutional reputation, and in some cases the ability to continue operations. It is very important to have a mechanism for staying informed and complying with existing regulations and standards. It is also very important to keep abreast of new or evolving regulations that will impact your operations. A self-assessment or assessment conducted by an outside party is a good tool for determining level of compliance.
- Measurable performance metrics
Every business relies on performance metrics to improve their bottom line, and HSE departments are no exception. These metrics help identify areas that need improvement, as well as trends over time. Key performance indicators for health, safety, and environment include:
- Lost Time Rate (LTR)
- Total Accident Rate (TAR)
- Total Recordable Injuries
- Working Days Since Last Incident
- Regular meetings and communications strategy
Creating a consistent meeting schedule for health, safety, and environment staff is key for reviewing current HSE strategies and successfully implementing new initiatives. Additionally, putting a clear communication plan in place fosters collaboration and reduces confusion during emergencies. Schedule HSE staff meetings on a weekly or biweekly basis, and make sure to assign a meeting leader and prepare an agenda to ensure efficient and effective meetings.
- Regular management review
Every HSE management system needs to be reviewed to verify that current goals are being met and new initiatives are being put in place. Review of your management system and team by senior leadership should be conducted on a regular basis. This keeps staff and the system accountable, and presents the opportunity for discussion between safety personnel and upper management.
If you want to improve your HSE performance, please contact us now.