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 or provide better training if you introduce new processes or equipment or 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. From the start, top-level management commitment and effective communication with employees are essential parts of making it happen.