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Why do I need a Safety Management System in my business?

Posted by Jodie Hamilton on April 15, 2020

And by the way, what the heck is a Safety Management System?

Businesses have an obligation to ensure the heath and safety of their people.

In practical terms, this is what we refer to as Primary Duty which represents an obligation to eliminate or minimise potential harm or loss (risk) by doing all that is reasonably practicable to ensure safety.

The best way to meet this obligation is to have a Safety Management System (SMS) implemented into your business.

Safety management is managing business activities and applying framework, policies and procedures to help prevent accidents, injuries and minimise risk.

A safety management system (SMS) is a documented systematic approach to managing safety, including organisational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures. It should aim to manage safety risks and ensure the safety of a business’s transport activities, so far as is reasonably practicable.

When implemented into your business, an SMS will help you to continuously improve the safety of your operations and assist in meeting your responsibilities under Work Health and Safety Laws.

It is important to understand that no SMS is identical, as no business is identical, but they all will have a similar framework and cover the same four major components:

  • Safety policy and documentation
  • Safety risk management
  • Safety assurance
  • Safety promotion and training

The complexity of YOUR SMS will depend on the business activities and size.  A simple SMS can just be as effective as a complex one as long as the business is utilising it to its potential.

There are a number of benefits of implementing a SMS.

  • It clearly demonstrates that you are taking your safety duties obligation seriously and adopting a proactive approach to risk management in your business.
  • Assisting you to meet your safety responsibilities under the WHS/OH&S Laws.
  • Providing you with a means to manage risk and enhance safe practices.
  • Assisting your business to allocate limited resources to the most critical areas that have an impact on safety.
  • Helping your business become a preferred supplier to customers.
  • Providing a framework to make informed safety decisions and increase efficiencies.
  • Reducing costs by proactively identifying risks before they result in an incident or major accident.

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