What Is A Safe Operating Procedure?
A Safe Operating Procedure is a set of instructions on how to perform a job safely or to correctly handle an emergency.
Each task step has a priority, e.g. 1, 1.1, 2., and can be general or specific depending on the complexity of the task.
A Safe Operating Procedure is also known as a S.O.P., S.W.P., a safety standard, emergency procedure or an operating procedure.
Safe Operating Procedures can be documents such as MS Word or PDF, video, PowerPoint audio or links to an online procedure.
Use a procedure when;
- A risk assessment has identified a risk in a work task. As a result, an administration control measure requires writing one.
- Items of machinery, tools and equipment require operation in a specific way.
- Handling of Emergencies requires a procedure.
- When good overall risk management is a goal.
- Maximising the production and minimising the cost of a job
Safe Operating Procedures reduce the risk of carrying out a task.
People who use a procedure must easily understand it. In particular, people from other languages and cultures and those with disabilities.
Procedures Should Be Current And Accurate
A procedure that’s not accurate is pretty much useless! Likewise, it’ll lose the credibility of your workers and puts lives at risk.
Similarly, it may not prove your compliance with the law should a court require it.
A system should be in place to audit procedures to ensure they remain current and relevant.
Current, relevant procedures ensure workers know how to perform a task safely. Moreover, they know how to do the work as you, the business owner, require it.