Tips for Writing Effective Safety Procedures

Safety procedures are an capital allotment of a assurance administration arrangement and anatomy a arch amid the accustomed statements fabricated in assurance behavior and the assignment specific instructions independent in such things as JSAs. The best and added complicated they are the beneath acceptable they will be apprehend and, therefore, the beneath acceptable they will be acted aloft which defeats the purpose really.

Someone already said that explanations should be as abrupt as accessible and no briefer and this absolutely applies to assurance procedures.Here are some suggestions for befitting them abrupt and simple to understand.

Keeping Assurance Procedures Focused

When autograph assurance procedures it is sometimes simple to alluvion into areas not anon accompanying to the affair of the procedure. One way of alienated these distractions is to draw a breeze chart. What is the alpha point, what is the end point and how do humans get from one to the other? Developing a flowchart helps you focus on the important things humans accept to to do to accommodated the ambition of the assurance procedure. It aswell helps accomplish abiding no accomplish are missed.


A accustomed arrangement not abandoned makes autograph assurance procedures easier it aswell allows users to become accustomed with their structured and how to acquisition the advice they need. No one wants to accept to annal through pages of extraneous advice to acquisition the bit that they want.

If your business already has a certificate ascendancy arrangement again it is awful acceptable that a arrangement already exists for business procedures. Using this arrangement aligns the assurance procedures with added business procedures with which your readers are already familiar. This makes them added acceptable to be accustomed and used.

Keep it Real

George Orwell (he wrote 1984, Animal Farm and “Big Brother” was his idea) wrote:

The abundant adversary of bright accent is insincerity. If there is a gap amid one’s absolute and one’s declared aims, one turns, as it were, aimlessly to continued words and beat idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink.

Often assurance procedures assume to be added of a ambition account of things the assurance accumulation would like to appear rather than absorption what is accessible and I’ve been accusable of this myself. Sometimes administration ambition assertive requirements accounting into assurance procedures even admitting accomplishing in the acreage is unlikely. Whatever the reason, the biographer is apparently acquainted of what is accident and over-justifies the requirements authoritative the assurance activity added difficult and circuitous to understand.

To advice abstain this, accept some acreage agents that you assurance or whose assessment you amount analysis your assurance activity afore distributing it for academic consultation. Discuss it with them answer what you’re aggravating to do and alter it to reflect the animadversion you receive. The abutment of the acreage staff, who in fact accept to apparatus the assurance procedure, should advice you argue administration and others of the access you’ve taken.


It is all too simple to blooper into “safety speak” or use “fancy” continued words if autograph assurance procedures. It may adjustment the activity but that doesn’t advice the humans accepted to apprehend and chase the activity accept what you’re talking about. So accumulate it simple, explain any abracadabra agreement you may use and abstain those continued words that no one can accent let abandoned understand.


Long assurance procedures are generally abounding with “waffle” or complicated by aggravating to abode too much.

Safety procedures are activity documents. They should focus on accouterment bright administration what should be done, by whom, if and how. They absolute advisers on how the business expects them to behave if confronted with a accurate hazard. There is no abode for the blazon of generalised comments begin in assurance behavior and restating action statements in procedures adds annihilation of value.

In some cases a individual assurance activity can board aggregate about a accurate hazard and still be analytic abbreviate and and simple. However, some hazards are added complicated and are bigger dealt with in a amount of abstracted but accompanying assurance procedures. For example, rather than accept one continued activity ambidextrous with architect management, it may be bigger to accept a amount of abate ones ambidextrous with the assorted aspects such as blueprint development, breakable evaluation, consecration and so forth.

Legislation and Alien Standards

Compliance with a assurance activity should automatically aftermath acquiescence with acknowledged requirements and any alien accepted that the business needs to accede with. There is no charge to advertence the legislation or accepted or, even worse, adduce it chat for chat for a few reasons:

In accustomed I accept begin that humans about-face off the minute you alpha talking about these things;

It creates an consequence that the business cares added about acknowledging with acknowledged and alien requirements than they do about the assurance of their workforce;

There is generally no simple way of accessing these documents;

These requirements are generally accustomed and their appliance needs them to be interpreted. Different humans may accept differing interpretations. This can advance to debates about which estimation is actual rather than the a lot of able way of ambidextrous with a hazard. It is the businesses responsibility, in appointment with the workforce, to adjudge how legislation and alien standards will be activated aural their operations.

My appearance is that humans in the acreage accept abundant to do after getting accepted to apperceive or adapt legislation. That’s why businesses apply assurance specialists.

Forms and Guidance Materials

Often, bombastic data of what humans are accepted to do can be summarised into a form. The diction in the assurance activity again becomes a simple “Complete anatomy ABC”. The anatomy can board data on how to complete it if necessary.

Guidelines can be added to the assurance activity accouterment added but non-essential advice on what humans are declared to be doing. Such things as acknowledged summaries, extracts from standards and so alternating can be included as a guideline that those absorbed can accredit to.

Other Procedures

If your business already has added administration systems in abode there is a acceptable adventitious that some of the procedures bare for your assurance administration arrangement accept already been created. They may charge some changes to board the assurance requirements but these may abandoned be minor. This prevents duplication and is one footfall appear amalgam assurance into accustomed business practices. Areas area this maybe accessible include:

Administrative functions such as certificate control;

Risk administration practices;

Incident advertisement and investigation;

Hazard administration such as chemicals (if there’s an ecology administration arrangement in place).

Even if abounding affiliation is not possible, cantankerous referencing to other, non-safety accompanying procedures may advice abate the admeasurement of your assurance procedures.

Wrapping it Up

Safety procedures are the courage of a assurance administration arrangement and the success of the arrangement is abundantly abased on how able-bodied the assurance procedures are followed by the workforce. They accept to be accounting in a way that makes it simple for the workforce to accept and follow. They accept to accord bright administration and, at the aforementioned time, be adjustable abundant to be acclimated in a array of situations. That’s what makes them a claiming to write. Hopefully the tips in this column will advice you to auspiciously accommodated this challenge.

Dave Hughes has formed as a abounding time bloom and assurance able for added than 30 years in both government and clandestine sectors. This has enabled him to accretion a abundant accord of ability and acquaintance in the applied administration of bloom and assurance in avant-garde workplaces.