Planning for health & safety

If you are serious about improving your health and safety performance, you need a plan

Ideally, you need to develop an annual plan, and have a longer-term three- to five-year vision.

‘It’s all about continuous improvement.’

Tracey Mellor

Manager, Safety and Environment, Cerebral Palsy Alliance

Your annual plan

Your annual plan needs to focus on specific goals and objectives not just targets to reduce obvious indicators, such as incidents or time lost.

To develop your annual plan, you need to know as much as possible about your current health and safety situation and whether existing processes are effective.

This might involve safety audits and compliance audits, evaluating near misses and injury records, reviewing notification and consultation procedures, and examining training programs.

‘I think the first step is to bring all your workers together, and maybe your contractors, your clients, sit down and start asking the questions: How can we work together more closely? How can we work for the benefit of all our businesses? It doesn’t cost anything. It’s free to ask questions.

Tracey Mellor

Manager, Safety and Environment, Cerebral Palsy Alliance

This information will help you determine the health and safety priorities for your workplace over the coming 12 months. Your priorities – which will become your plan – might include:

  • improving the reporting and investigation of near misses
  • encouraging engagement and accountability at all levels of the organisation
  • improving training programs
  • implementing new measures to control hazards
  • addressing gaps in programs and processes
  • developing new safe work procedures
  • creating better ways to consult.

Set time frames for your goals and objectives, and monitor the implementation of the plan.  [case study?]

Your longer-term vision

What major changes to your workplace health and safety will take place in the next three to five years? Will there be staffing changes? New plant or machinery? New premises?

Use your annual plan to gauge the effectiveness of your health and safety processes, then determine the potential effect of known or expected changes to formulate a longer-term vision.

Communicating the plans

Let your managers, supervisors and workers know the details of your plans, including milestones, timelines and specific activities, and do quarterly reviews to make sure everyone achieves their goals.

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