First off, let’s start with the basics. SWMS stands for Safe Work Method Statement, which is a written document that outlines the hazards and risks associated with a particular task or job, and the measures that will be taken to control or eliminate those hazards and risks. In other words, it’s a plan that helps to ensure the safety of workers by identifying potential hazards and outlining how to avoid them.
Now, let’s talk about why it’s important to audit and monitor the performance of the SWMS. The primary reason is to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Depending on the nature of your business, there may be specific laws and regulations that require you to have an SWMS in place, and failure to comply with those requirements can result in fines, legal action, or even criminal charges.
Beyond that, auditing and monitoring the SWMS also helps to ensure that it’s actually being followed and that the measures outlined in the plan are effective. This can help to identify potential hazards or issues before they become serious problems, and can also help to improve the overall safety culture of the workplace.
So, how do you go about auditing and monitoring the performance of the SWMS? Here are a few key steps to follow:
- Review the SWMS regularly: The first step is to make sure that the SWMS is up-to-date and reflects the current state of your workplace. This means reviewing it regularly, ideally on a quarterly basis, and making any necessary updates or revisions.
- Observe work practices: Next, it’s important to actually observe the work practices of your employees to ensure that they’re following the SWMS. This can involve physically watching them work, reviewing video footage, or simply asking them questions about their work practices.
- Conduct regular safety inspections: In addition to observing work practices, it’s also important to conduct regular safety inspections to identify any potential hazards or issues. This can involve walking through the workplace and looking for hazards, or using specialised equipment to measure things like air quality or noise levels.
- Review incident reports: Finally, it’s important to review incident reports to identify any trends or patterns that may indicate a problem with the SWMS. For example, if there have been several incidents related to a particular task or hazard, it may be necessary to revise the SWMS to address those issues.
Overall, auditing and monitoring the performance of the SWMS is a critical part of maintaining a safe workplace. By regularly reviewing the SWMS, observing work practices, conducting safety inspections, and reviewing incident reports, you can help to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, identify potential hazards or issues, and improve the overall safety culture of your workplace.
So, take the time to review your SWMS regularly and make sure that it’s being followed. Your employees will thank you for it, and you’ll be doing your part to create a safer, more productive workplace.