As I pondered and researched this topic, I came across the following on one of my Google internet searches:
"Affordable Written Health & Safety Program Manuals"
"This is not a guide or "how to" write a safety manual. This is an actual written Health and Safety Program Manual that includes your Company name! What does our BASIC Safety Program Manual consist of? It has the Safety Topics that every thorough "Health and Safety Program" manual should include.”
This advertised health and safety program manual offer includes adding your company name, "WOW"! Unfortunately that is not truly customized and specific enough to meet your company's compliance needs!
When WSG is invited to assess a company’s health and safety management, we are often presented with a voluminous health and safety manual that was ‘developed’ for them by a consulting firm. No doubt, this “canned” product was very expensive, and the company was led to believe that it would meet the compliance requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). After all these years, I still question why companies spend money on such generic and often inferior products sold by consulting firms.
One of the key elements of safety management is determining how their health and safety binder of policies and procedures accurately addresses the hazards and risks of that company’s specific equipment, materials, environment and processes. A “canned” product does not do this!
In order to create the policies and procedures documents that satisfy OHSA standards and the Regulations relevant to a company’s business, a workplace assessment will identify those policies and procedures that accomplish that.
In the last month WSG received a number of requests to conduct detailed, onsite health and safety assessments then create a corporate health & safety manual. When you’ve committed to investing a significant amount of money, you want to be sure that what you get is what you actually need. You want your entire health and safety management system to be relevant and have all components in place:
- Policies that address your specific company challenges (people, equipment, materials, environment and processes);
- Training that is specific to those challenges; and
- Implementation Strategies for dealing with those challenges
To start the process we provide a *legislative compliance checklist to the client prior to conducting the audit. This is a means for the client to compile everything that they already have in place in order for the auditor to determine the baseline health and safety status of the company.
*If you would like a copy of this Legislative Compliance Checklist enter your information here.
Effective health and safety management is key to a safe workplace. It must be planned, designed, evaluated and continuously improved.
The actual assessment measures the basic requirements of a health and safety system. It begins by determining if the company has made a commitment to implementing a health and safety management system and verifying whether actual and potential hazards and risks have been identified. The assessment then measures the procedures and practices that have been implemented to manage those hazards and risks. Finally, it evaluates the company’s ability to examine and make improvements to its health and safety systems.
There are three phases in the assessment process:
1. Preparing for the assessment - The preparation stage is vital to the overall process. Good planning and effective communication will ensure that the assessment runs smoothly.
2. Performing the assessment
a. Document Review - The document review involves assessing the content and completeness of the health and safety manual and any records and/or forms pertaining to health and safety. The assessor is looking for evidence of company/work specific procedures and practices. Records are typically examined for content comprehensiveness by checking for dates, frequency, agenda items, signatures and attendance, to name a few items.
b. Interviews - The purpose of the interview is to gauge understanding of the company health and safety program. Both management and random employees are interviewed to verify program items. The auditor will determine whether the interviewee provides a positive or negative response and mark the item accordingly.
3. Presenting assessment results - A written presentation will be delivered within two to three weeks after the assessment to advise senior management of the organization’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. The findings from the assessment will form the basis for the development of the company’s health and safety policies and safe work procedures.
If you believe that can do better and want more than a “canned” product, give WSG a call. When you do, we promise you a no-obligation Discovery Call which will quickly reveal how we can help you.