What is a Safe Operating Procedure & Why Do You Need Them?
Safe Operating Procedures (SOPs) can play an integral part of day-to-day workplace operations, training and risk management. A Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) needs to ensure workers are adequately trained to reduce the likelihood of injuries occurring, a Safe Operating Procedures provides a way to deliver this training.
Safe Operating Procedures, also commonly referred to as Safe Work Procedures aim to reduce the risk of performing a work task.
A Safe Operating Procedure (SOP) or Safe Work Procedure (SWP) provides a systematic approach for businesses to:
- outline associated risks
- outline step-by-step safe processes for specific equipment operation and work activities
- ensure workers are adequately trained
- communicate the preferred way to safely perform work tasks
A Safe Operating Procedure is regarded as an administrative hazard control tool, and should only be adopted if higher control measures such as elimination, substitution and engineering controls in the Hierarchy of Controls are not practicable.
Remember the best way to eliminate a hazard is to remove the risk.
When should I produce a Safe Operating Procedure?
Firstly, conduct a Risk Assessment to identify hazards that may be present and establish safety control measures. If a Safe Operating Procedure is identified as a control measure, one should be produced in conjunction with person/s performing the task to ensure all aspects of the work task are covered and relevant hazards and control measures are identified.
What information should I include in my Safe Operating Procedures?
- A series of basic steps that should be followed to complete the task (using diagrams and photos provides enhanced clarity)
- Outline of the hazards and risks
- Outline of the recommended control measures to eliminate or minimise the risk of these hazards
- Outline of relevant Personal Protective Equipment
- An area to record a Review date
Pre-filled Safe Operating Procedures Available!
SafetyCulture offers a number of Safe Operating Procedures and Safe Work Procedures for operating equipment and performing work tasks. Suitable for businesses operating in Australia & New Zealand. To view our complete list of Safe Operating Procedures & Safe Work Procedures click here