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Safe systems at work

IET factfile: Health and Safety - Safe systems at work

A health and safety briefing provided by the IET.

Under Section 2(z)(a) of the Health and Safety At Work etc. Act 1974 employers are legally obliged to provide and to maintain systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.

An outline of the process to follow in developing a modern safe system of work is as follows:

  • Make a risk assessment.
  • Determine what can be done so far as is reasonably practicable to remove the identified hazards and do it.
  • Should hazards remain, develop a safe system of work.
  • Where necessary formalise these systems of work into procedures.
  • Include in the procedures where necessary the use of permits to work coupled with physical lock-off systems.
  • Monitor the observance of all parts of the procedure. Feed-back any information on weaknesses or failures in the system.
  • Rectify these by modifying the system.
  • Keep monitoring and modifying the systems as necessary.