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In order to understand what a safety management system is, one must first understand safety and safety management.

According to the Collins Gem English Dictionary (1998.HarperCollins Publisher) safety simply is The state of being out of danger Safety management is the development of methods to keep us out of danger in the workplace, mainly to prevent loss, damage to property and injuries to workers so therefore, a safety management system is basically a systematic and proactive approach to this where everyone in the organization is involved. The first system to be discussed is mentioned in the HSG 65. According to HSG 65(2nd edition, 1997), there are five key elements that your company, or any company for that matter, must follow to have a successful safety management system. (See Diagram 1) Diagram 1

As seen above, the first element, Policy, involves actually setting up a health and safety policy in your company. It should be based on everything in the organization, from the way work is being done, to the employees, to their equipment and its use. According to Allan St John Holt (2009 p.29) safety policies must contain Concise details of the organizations health and safety objectives and means of achieving it. This simply means that it consists of the organizations HSE goals and ways to work towards them. It is also mentioned in the OSH Act, 2004, that all organizations that contain more than twenty five employees MUST have a safety policy.

The second element, organizing, involves achieving a positive health and safety culture. According to the Health and Safety Executive Website, Glendon and McKenna (1995) stated that safety culture is the embodiment of a set of principles which loosely define what an organization is like in terms of health and safety. Basically, this is the organizations perception towards safety so a positive culture will involve having a good perception. To obtain this, competence, control, cooperation and communication in your organization must exist. Competence basically involves training in safety. Control involves you, the employer, allocating specific health and safety responsibilities, such as risk assessing, to workers or basically getting the employees to clear the health and safety objectives, as stated in HSG 65. Cooperation involves everyone in the organization actually working towards risk reduction. Communication involves the spread of health and safety information in your organization. Ways to communicate health and safety include OSH policy statements, documents showing OSH roles and also documents on standards of work performance. The third element, planning and implementing, involves identifying, controlling and eliminating risks as well as setting safety objectives and standards. The standards must be measurable, achievable and realistic. Good planning can help prevents accidents in both the present and the future. The fourth element, measuring performance, involves figuring out how effective your organizations health and safety performance was by using active and reactive monitoring systems. As stated by HSG 65(HSE 1997, p.59), Active monitoring gives an organization feedback on its performance before an accident, incident or ill health. It includes monitoring the achievement of specific plans and objectives, the operation of the health and safety management system, and compliance with performance standards. According to the HSE website, a definition of reactive monitoring is as follows: Reactive monitoring includes gathering data about injuries and cases of ill health (including monitoring of sickness absence records) and incidents with the potential to cause injury, ill health or loss. Data about such health and safety failures provides the opportunity to learn from mistakes, and to improve both your risk management systems and the control of particular health and safety risks. So, in short, active monitoring is done before something goes wrong and reactive is done after. The fifth and final element, reviewing performance, involves inspecting the results of your safety management system and through this improvements, if needed, are made.

Another form of safety management style you can adopt is Total Safety Management (TSM) . Hassan (2005, p.35) states that Total safety management is a performance-oriented approach to safety and health management that gives organizations a sustainable competitive advantage in global marketplace by establishing a safe and health work environment that is conducive to consistent peak performance and that is improved continually forever. This simply means that the effectiveness of TSM is based on a companys safety performance. If it is good, it will result in a sustained safe working environment and as a result, top performance and advantages over similar companies. The key elements of this system are Sustainable competitive advantage. Peak Performance. Continual Improvement forever.

According to Goetsch (1998) there are about 15 steps (the TSM Model) in order to implement this system. Some can be self-explained while I will explain the others. They are as follows: 1. Gain Leader Commitment- Ensure that they are doing their job 2. Establish the Steering Committee- This consists of you and I, the manager and the health and safety professional. 3. Mold the Steering Committee into a Team As a team, we must work towards and encourage OSH in your organization by setting policies etc. 4. Provide Safety and Health Awareness Training 5. Develop the Vision and Guiding Principles Setting a policy etc. 6. Develop the Mission and Objectives Set safety goals and ways to achieve them. 7. Communicate and Inform- The employees must be informed of the safety goals and objectives and why they we adopted and also how to achieve them. 8. Identify Strengths and Weaknesses-Advantages and disadvantages of certain aspects in your organization. 9. Identify Advocates and Resisters- Identify those who have positive and negative work attitude. Positive employees will be more efficient. 10. Benchmark Initial Employee Perceptions- Obtain the thoughts of the employees in terms of the working conditions by running questionnaires.

11. Tailor the Implementation- After finding out advantages and disadvantages, those who have positive or negative work attitudes and the thoughts of the employee, alter the method of implementation to suit the organization. 12. Identify Specific Improvement Projects 13. Establish, Train, and Activate Improvement Project Teams 14. Activate the Feedback Loop- Employers must obtain feedback from the employee 15. Make TSM Part of the Culture-Ensure everyone in your organization is now involved in safety and the rules towards it are being followed.

There are three basic reasons as to why any forms of safety management systems are needed. These are: Moral Reasons because as the owner of the company, you have an ethical obligation to ensure that your workers are safe, because, while they are at work, they are your responsibility. It is also expected that working activities should not cause harm to the public as well as the environment. Legal Reasons because safety in the workplace should be achieved in accordance to the OSH laws. If this is not done it may lead to fines for the company and even imprisonment. Financial Reasons because if one exists it will mean that the occurrence of accidents that can cause injury or damage will be less than if one did not exist and because of the reduction, more money will be saved as fees will not be spent on direct( damages to property, illnesses and injury) and indirect (investigation) costs.

If any employer has a true interest in his work, he/she will see to it that a SMS is present to avoid having a haunted conscience, to avoid being sued or imprisoned and to save money.

You, your employees and even your organization itself will benefit from a proper safety management system. Employees will benefit from it as it boosts the work morale because there is an assurance of safety and as a result, a better work performance. Also, because of the assurance of safety, there will be reduced absenteeism. The employer also benefits from the safer working conditions. Also, as mentioned before, since fewer accidents now occur, more money will be saved, ranging from money that is to be spent on damages to property and injuries to personnel to money spent on investigation of theses occurrences to even fines. The presence of a SMS could also prevent imprisonment of the employer. Your organization benefits from the SMS as it gives it a better public image since it adheres to the safety laws.