How to develop a health and safety system

In July 2023, Health and Safety2 MinutesBy Tracey MurphyAugust 12, 2023

Developing your own health and safety system is fine, but there are few things to consider.

As health and safety consultants, we see many organisations aware of the requirement for a health and safety system and believe it’s cost-effective to develop and run their own.

There is nothing wrong with developing your own system. It can be more cost- effective, and it can work very well. There is a lot of information available to assist organisations to do this. You can download the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, templates and forms and even an entire hazard-risk register.

What you can’t download is experience, time and knowledge. The problem with downloading information or using AI is that the downloads either come in the form of templates, which need completing, or are very generic. Unfortunately, one size does not fit all.

The other part of developing a health and safety system is implementing it. Often, this is given to a person who already has a full role. They usually have limited knowledge of health and safety and don’t know how to drive it, excite people about it, and make it part of the way the organisation works.

Using a consultant can help in all these areas. A good consultant should be able to work with you to get the best outcome for your organisation. They can write the system, provide training or serve as a backup to what you are doing. A good consultant should have qualifications and experience and belong to a health and safety organisation, such as the NZ Institute of Safety Management (NZISM) and, preferably, be on the Health and Safety Association of NZ (HASANZ) register. They should also be someone you connect with.

Go it alone or use a professional – it’s your choice. Remember that a robust, well-implemented health and safety system will save you downtime from injuries or damage. It will ensure you have a plan to stop things from going wrong and a strategy for managing the things that do go wrong.