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Safe Systems of Work

A safe system of work is a formal procedure based on a systematic examination of work, in order to identify any hazards.

Find out about our Safe Systems of Work service

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    Safe Systems of Work

    A safe system of work is a formal procedure based on a systematic examination of work, in order to identify any hazards. It defines safe methods of working which eliminate those hazards or minimise the risks associated with them. Put simply, a safe system of work is a defined method of doing a job in a safe way.

    What are Safe Systems of Work?

    A safe system of work is a defined method of doing a job in a safe way.

    Employers must ensure those safe systems of work are available for all work activities that create significant risk, in the same way, that it’s your responsibility to carry out risk assessments for all work activities.

    Safe systems of work become particularly important when significant residual risk remains after all practicable control measures have been introduced into work processes and where control measures that are usually present need to be removed so that a task can be completed, for example, during maintenance, servicing, inspection work, cleaning and/or construction activities.

    Why is it important to develop Safe Systems of Work?

    Safe systems of work ensure that all the steps necessary for safe working have been anticipated and implemented and are designed to reduce human error.
    It might not always be possible to eliminate risk in these circumstances. Risk can be reduced by implementing physical controls, providing personal protective equipment (PPE) and developing safe systems of work.

    Setting up your Safe systems of work and providing training to all employees, and keeping the training up to date will help to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place but will help protect you against prosecutions should accidents occur by providing evidence of the steps you have in place and have taken to ensure your are safe.

    With fines having increased 450% since introducing new sentencing guidelines in 2016, taking the time to strengthen your safety systems proactively is crucial. Developing safe systems of work is a key part of this.

    Are Safe Systems of Work required by law?

    Under Section 2(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act (HSWA) 1974, employers must provide and maintain systems of work that are practical, safe and without risks to health.

    Many regulations made under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act, require that workers are given appropriate information and instruction on how to use work equipment safely.

    How often should Safe Systems of Work be reviewed?

    Safe systems of work should be reviewed at least annually to ensure:

    • They reflect any changes in legislation.
    • They comply with recent risk assessments.
    • Any accidents, injuries or diseases are considered to further improve controls.
    • Safer substances are considered.
    • Any new or modified plant/equipment is considered.
    • New working methods are used, and technological advances are taken advantage of.

    How Stallard Kane Can Help

    If you don’t feel sufficiently competent to create a Safe System of Work, Stallard Kane can create one for you as part of our Health & Safety service.

    As a Stallard Kane customer, you will receive regular communication, and we will keep you updated with regards to any necessary changes in Health & Safety legislation, either in person as part of your contracted audits and site meetings or in our regular news updates on our website or via email.

    How to contact

    For further assistance for your business, talk to our Health and Safety Team by calling 01427 420 402 or emailing healthandsafety@skaltd.co.uk and #oneoftheteam will be happy to help.

    "Having a single point of contact is extremely important. Previous companies would provide conflicting advice as so many different people were involved."
    Scott Care Ltd
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