Safety Manuals & Policies: Don’t Get Caught Behind the Times

Safety Manuals & Policies: Don’t Get Caught Behind the Times

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As the year draws to a close, now is the time to reflect on which of your policies and procedures are working and what could be improved. Safety manuals and handbooks are living documents meant to adapt to company changes. So they must be regularly updated to meet the company’s needs. As you make resolutions and commitments for the coming year, include these important documents in your plan.

Outdated Manuals = Increased Risk

Safety manuals that have not been regularly reviewed and updated put companies at risk. Processes and procedures adjust, laws and regulations are ever-changing, and technology and automation continue to develop at an accelerated pace. Plus, companies have changed their way of conducting business significantly during COVID. Do your manuals reflect how you do work now?

Policies that are regularly violated should be reviewed to make sure they are easy to understand or are there conflicting policies.

Conducting reviews annually is best practice, but you may also need to review and update when there are new laws and regulations, organizational changes, or to adapt to an incident or impacting event. Reviewing after incidents and accidents as part of the loss control is a good practice to make sure the procedures were in place to prevent an incident from occurring.

Taking Steps to Update

When reviewing policies and procedures, you may need to make changes to wording, re-write an entire section, or if it’s been a while, update the entire manual.

Updating policies can be a big job for an individual. You may find it helpful to tackle the project as a small, diversified group of supervisors, managers, and front-line workers. This could also help get buy-in from staff at all levels, increasing compliance. Having a single owner for updating would be best in preparing the final version for review.

There are other solutions such as software options like Mineral, which can help develop “living” manuals and keep them updated as laws and regulations change. Mineral provides clients an easy-to-use system to stay up to date on changes and provide guidance on new regulations. All clients of The Miller Group have access to Mineral at no charge. So if you are not using this online software, please reach out to your Miller Group team so we can get you started.


Aaron Paris, Safety Director

By Aaron Paris, CSP, ASP, Director of Safety, The Miller Group

See Also:
OSHA 300 Logs
When OSHA Comes Knocking
Safety and the Cost of Doing Nothing

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