September always feels notably different to August; September feels like new start. The summer holidays are over; a new school year has begun and there’s been a definite change of weather.
September isn’t the start of a new school year for us at Hundred Acre, but it is the start of our new financial year. As our year changes, we take time to make sure the last year can be closed off and we look ahead to our new year in business.
Just like preparing for your children to go back to school or moving into a new financial year, this is a perfect time to take a look at where you’re at in your business. With so much going on in the year, it’s always good to use some times as a marker, to check and refresh. Most business systems, including health and safety management systems, need to follow a cycle to be successfully implemented. Whether your business follows the OHSAS 18001, HS(G)65, ISO 45001 or any other standards, they all follow the same principles; Plan, Do, Check, Act. Each part leads onto the next, just like school terms, financial years or how we progress through the seasons. You have to go through all the steps and stages to keep moving forward, to check all the health and safety policies and procedures you have in place and consider what needs to be implemented, improved or changed.
What do you need to do to follow the cycle?
If your system is new, it’s time to plan. Ask yourself:
- What do you do?
- What do you need to do?
- Who can do what?
- What help do we need?
If your system is established, ask yourself:
- What has changed in our business?
- What has changed in health and safety legislation or best practice?
- What problems have there been during the previous year?
- What was good or bad? What lessons have we learned?
- What new equipment or people have we got?
Taking time to plan a new year in business makes things work a little more smoothly. A good health and safety management system has synergies with lots of other aspects of business. A little time and planning can pay dividends, as they all work better together.
“Putting a safety management system in place and continually reviewing it is a really proactive step for any business” explains Bridget. “I often meet businesses at the point where something has gone wrong. Or they are struggling to work out what can be improved as they don’t have systems to follow or haven’t taken time to review and reflect. This can mean they end up firefighting many elements of their business. My first piece of advice is to be proactive. Health and safety doesn’t have to be complicated, and just like many parts of running a business, burying your head or ignoring it is not a good move.”
If you’d like to find out more about how Hundred Acre can help with your health and safety requirements, contact us today on +44 (0) 1933 201103 or via our contact page.
– Hundred Acre – Everyone’s Safe Place –