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Safety Management Systems

What is a Safety Management System?

A safety management system is a tool that assists both employees and employer's to systematically achieve and maintain the required standards in their industry for managing and maintaining health and safety and reducing and risks or hazards that may arise. An SMS is scalable so it can be tailored to the size and complexity of your organisation. 


Why is a Safety Management System Important?

An SMS allows the employees to demonstrate the effective management of health and safety on site to:

  • Other employees, contractors and others working within the site
  • The regulator
  • An external organisation when applying for tenders/jobs
  • Management when assessing the systems against recognised industry standards


To maximise its effectiveness, the SMS needs to be:

  • A clearly documented system
  • Be easily understood by all employee's/employer's
  • Accessible

The risks managed at all sites are dynamic and vary greatly. The Safety Management System is used to ensure these risks are considered and strategies are documented so adequate controls are implemented for the life of the site/job.

While all sites have safety and risk-related policies, plans and procedures in place, the SMS ties all these elements in a single integreated system.


When should an SMS be reviewed?

The elements of an SMS should be reviewed regularly and, if necessary, revised. A review should be done:

  • if a risk control measure is revised
  • before making a significant change to operations
  • if a notifiable incident occurs at the site
  • if an audit of performance standards indicates a deficiency in a risk control measure
  • after a worker's task is changed in response to health surveillance results
  • if there is evidence that a risk control measure does not adequately control the risk
  • if a health and safety representative at the site requests the review


What is the process to have an SMS customised for you?

Contact Rhiannon Stegert via e-mail or at the office for a quote. Once the quote has been approved,

  • Arrange a meeting with Rhiannon to have a chat about what you do and what is involved
  • After the meeting, we will use the notes taken to customise an SMS for your company and employees
  • Once the SMS is ready, we will then come to your site to show you how to implement the new system



Management system audits have a wider scope, and although addressing hazards and risk controls, it also looks at workplace structures, planning activities, responsibilities, implemented procedures, review cycles and measurement and evaluation issues. The management system as such, is as planned, documented and verifiable method of managing WH&S hazards. What makes it a system is the deliberate linking and flow of processes that creates an intentional way of managing WH&S matters.

A basic workplace health and safety management system is audited annually to ensure

  • existence of a health and safety policy that is communicated to staff
  • management commitment
  • allocation of responsibilities and accountability for health and safety matters
  • controls for suppliers, sub-contractors and purchasing
  • health and safety consultation
  • hazard identification, evaluation and control
  • provision of information and training of staff
  • incident reporting, investigation, analysis and review; and
  • measuring and evaluating work health and safety performance


Many workplaces undertake these audits on an annual basis


You can contact Rhiannon on or at the office on (07) 4123 0415





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