Set up a health and safety management system

Using health and safety management systems

Management systems generally follow a 'plan-do-check-act' model:

  • Plan - identify the key legal requirements and establish your overall policy. See key health and safety management legal obligations.
  • Do - decide what procedures you need and implement them.
  • Check - set targets and objectives, and assess whether you are achieving them. See control and review your management systems.
  • Act - take steps to continually improve the system. For example, you might want to update procedures if you introduce new equipment or processes. You may decide to provide better training if you have problems in a particular area.

In the short term, introducing a new management system involves extra work and costs time and money. Employees may find it difficult to see what's in it for them, and resist the changes involved. Top-level management commitment is key. Effective communication with employees is also a vital part of making it happen.