Getting The Most Out of Your Safety Management Review
Why review your safety performance?
Right now you have a management system, you have policy and procedures that determine what safety legislation you need to comply to. You have risk assessments and a plan, you are organised. You’ve put all of that into action. You’ve done all of the hard work.
Despite that, you’re still not quite sure how well it’s all going. You presume your management system is working for you and that you are compliant. After all, you’ve put all the necessary parts into place.
But there is that little worm of doubt that niggles. There are a few issues popping up here and there. They shouldn’t be, right? You’ve got procedures and controls in place to make sure issues don’t arise. So, is there a problem? Have you missed something? Has something changed? What if one of these little niggling issues blows up into a huge non-compliance issue?
That is what a management review is there to prevent. It’s a regular activity that is carried out to keep your compliance management on track and to keep your business in control.
You can see why it’s important to keep to your scheduled management reviews, am I right?
What is a Management Review?
More specifically, what’s the difference between a review and an audit? They’re not quite the same thing. Here’s why:
- An AUDIT is an activity that you carry out to determine your business’ conformance to the procedures of a specific section of your health and safety management system.
- A REVIEW is a shared activity, i.e. a meeting between management, directors and any other relevant personnel. The aim is to determine how effective your management system is in meeting the requirements of your health and safety Policy.
So, now what do you do? How do you undertake a review, exactly? What do you need to cover? Who should be involved?
To help you decide how to do your management reviews, we will define how to get the best out of your management reviews.
Here’s the thoughts of Ben Stout, one of our consultants, “Good Safety Management Reviews should be both proactive and reactive. Review your safety performance regularly so that you can spot trends quickly and be proactive in managing the identified risks before any harm to employees can happen.”
How often do you undertake a management review?
There are two things to consider here. There is reviewing your management system and your regular management reviews. Your overall health and safety management system should be reviewed at least once a year like your risk assessments. This could form part of any management review you undertake during the year.
As identified earlier in this post, a management review is undertaken more often to review your safety performance on a day to day basis. We’ve identified topics you can include in your management reviews later in the post.
Ben adds “We tend to recommend that most management reviews are undertaken at least once every 3 months (or more often where possible). The frequency of your management review can depends on the size of business and the risks in your industry.”
“It also depends on the other meetings you have. For example, your safety management review could also be part of another regular meeting as long as the right focus is kept on safety.”
Who should attend your management review?
You should arrange to have the following people present:
- The individuals running the company e.g. directors (including responsible person for safety);
- Managers representing the different areas in your business;
- Your competent person for safety;
- Any other personnel with responsibility for safety, i.e. your First Aiders, Fire Marshals, employee representative, etc.
Ben adds “You should also consider inviting anyone else that wants to know more about safety in the business. Or have different individuals attend each meeting to represent their area of you business.”
What do you do in a management review?
The short answer is, you review your safety data and performance to ensure you are managing the risks within your business.
Ben adds “The point of your management review is to act on any findings so that you can mitigate risks and proactively manage compliance. Ultimately, you should use each management review to improve your safety performance.”
Areas to consider reviewing in your management review include:
- Performance against objectives
- Legal compliance
- Risk assessments and management
- Audit results
- Incidents and accidents
- Training and competency
- Opportunities for improvements
- Action management
- Internal and external changes
- Safety communication
- Performance and effectiveness of the safety management system itself
Hopefully this list gives you an idea of how thorough your review meeting could be.
What should you take from doing regular management reviews?
That you, as the business owners, directors or senior employees, should lead by example. There is evidence to suggest that improving your health and safety culture motivates employees and leads to boosted productivity.
In practical terms, each management review should have records of what has been discussed and details of any actions coming from the review.
Ben adds “Each management review should be communicated and discussed with all parties. That way everyone knows how well your business is doing with its safety performance. Having the right people in the meetings and discussing relevant topics can help to your improve safety culture too through communication.”
If you need more information on management systems, then keep an eye out for our next blog posts. We will be summarising our recent blog posts on health and safety and putting them into a downloadable guide discussing what your health and safety management system covers.
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