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Safe Systems of Work

Safe Systems of Work (SSOW) are known by various names – Working Procedures (WPs) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) being two of them.. They are all variations of the same theme which is to accurately document how you consider the work of the company should be done by your employees, particularly with regard to hazardous work processes. Simply put, they are the detailed instructions given to employees to enable them to work safely.

As an employer you are required by law to implement SSOW.  In order to create safe systems of work you need to systematically examine the hazards involved in performing a particular task or job. The result of the risk assessment process is the detail used to develop a safe system of work.  By doing this you create a safe working method which significantly reduces the risk of an accident in your workplace. To create safe systems of work we recommend you include the individuals who are actively involved in the task for which you are trying to create the safe working method for.  This will help to accurately identify all of the hazards involved in the task and subsequently the safe systems of work are effective, practical and safe.

Unfortunately workers do not always follow safe working practices; this is usually due to a lack of knowledge or understanding, so by involving them in the process from start to finish this helps your employees to understand why the systems and methods need to be put in place and the importance of maintaining safe systems of work.

SSOW are designed to standardise working practice in order to ensure that no-one gets hurt or injured .When these are developed they should be rigorously implemented. They are the benchmark used to determine fault should an incident occur. Clearly from this perspective it is important to get the balance right between insufficient relevant detail in the SSOW, which expose employees to unsafe working practices and too much unnecessary detail which would impede efficient working.

OM Safety Solutions Ltd ensures that the balance is right, with SSOWs that actually work for your employees and which are easy to understand and follow.

Contact us to find out how we can help develop your Safe Systems of Work and ensure that they are implemented effectively.

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