3 steps to improving your procedures

The Brtitish Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has produced a document that,
although intended as guidance for employers responsible for major hazards on
how to develop procedures, is also relevant to non-major hazards industries
where there is a need to devise and implement procedures that are appropriate,
fit-for-purpose, accurate, ‘owned' by the workforce but most of all - useful.

We are concerned about procedures because research has shown that, where the
general cause of incidents (near misses) is ‘human factors', in most cases
the specific cause is a problem with procedures. Even the best employees can
make an error and inadvertently fail to follow a procedure. Sometimes, people
deliberately choose to ignore a procedure. This is known as a ‘violation'.
Violations are defined as any deliberate deviations from the rules, procedures,
instructions and regulations drawn up for the safe or efficient operation and
maintenance of plant or equipment. They are important, as they have been found
to be linked with between 70% and 90% of incidents and accidents.

Your Major Accident Prevention Policy (MAPP) should describe how you develop,
review/revise and publicise your procedures. This will include your permit to
work system and any other systems you have for protecting health, safety and
the environment.

The document 'Revitalising Procedures' poses and answers the following

  • what are procedures, why do we need them?
  • why do people not always follow procedures?
  • how can you encourage compliance with procedures?
  • different types of procedures;
  • where do procedures fit into risk control?
  • links between training, competency and procedures;
  • formatting and presenting procedures.

Further info

AplusA-online.de - Source: Health & Safety Executive