Health and safety records are not only a way for you to ensure that you are up to date and organised when it come to your health and safety policies and procedures. When and if the time comes, these records can also mean the difference between being in hot water or not. They are literally the paper trail that will either prove that you followed the law and prove your innocence, or fail to prove this. So filling them in correctly and regularly, as well as keeping them up to date and on hand, is very, very important.
Should an incident or accident occur at work, the correct person appointed to report on the matter as well as any other relevant employees who may have been involved, even as witnesses, should ensure that they report truthfully and in full.
Here are some tips you can follow to ensure that the paperwork adds up and serves its purpose.
1. Keep it simple and easy to complete
No one likes paperwork, especially if it’s about a stressful or traumatic experience and forces people to relive something that went wrong. Make sure that all the forms to be completed are user-friendly, and that the people who have to complete them have assistance on hand when doing so. Also double check that they have been filed correctly – it’s no use having all the paperwork in place if you have no idea where that place is.
2. Make sure they are completed in full
Once the relevant person has completed his or her report, the health and safety records are literally the paper trail that will either prove that you followed the law and prove your innocence. Click here and filled in the required paperwork, have a quick look to make sure that they didn’t leave any blank spaces or left some elements incomplete. Even if someone makes a genuine mistake and forgets to mention something or fill in a question, going back later to amend it, even if done openly, will have dire consequences. Do it right the first time for your own peace of mind.
3. Signed, sealed and sorted
Signatures are extremely important. Check whether the document contains all the signatures required, in the right places. The most complete, detailed and perfect health and safety records will prove that you followed the law and prove your innocence. Click here report is worthless if it lacks even one signature – a full signature or an initial at the bottom of a page. This determines the veracity and validity of the document, so it needs to be double-checked.
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4. Check all signatures to verify authenticity
Compile a list of specimen signatures so that you can verify that health and safety records are literally the paper trail that will either prove that you followed the law and prove your innocence. Click here and other documents have indeed been signed by the correct, authorised person. While it is neither nice nor pleasant, not to mention time-consuming , to play policeman like this, it is preferable to having your health and safety records audited or challenged in a dispute and finding out the signature is fraudulent and you are suddenly liable without having done anything wrong apart from being trusting.
5. Keep track of revised documents
Very often, legislation or policies change and instead of redoing entire forms, only the amendments are changed and the document reissued. Make sure that you mark documents clearly so that employees can identify which is the latest and correct version that the employee needs to complete. Use a version number and importantly, a revision date.
Sometimes things go pear-shaped or sideways or off the rails; the rubber hits the road; you find yourself up the creek without a paddle; to put it nicely – things go horribly wrong and the worst happens. It’s almost inevitable because where you get human, you will get human error. Your best bet is to have the most effective occupational health, safety and environmental system in place and make sure that it is organised and managed efficiently and effectively. That way you may not be able to always be 100% in control and avoid the bad stuff hitting the fan, but you can stay out of it because you can prove that you did everything you could to avoid it.
Contact Strategix today to find out more about our new health, safety and environmental integrated management system that will help you to manage your OHS measures to your best ability and ensure you are covered when it comes to employee information, incident management, audits and inspections, action manager, risk management, permits, licences and legal appointments, document manager, training records and PPE management.