Safe Work Procedures

Safe Work Procedures are the cornerstone of a successful employee training and orientation program.  Safe work procedures allow workers to understand the hazards associated with different job tasks and to safely perform those tasks from start to finish.

Safe work procedures (SWP) are required by legislation when the risk of injury to workers performing a job task cannot be eliminated by effective work /workplace design, work process or equipment. SWP also assist to successfully carry out various UM governance requirements and responsibilities.  SWPs must be developed and implemented for work tasks carried out at every workplace if there are risks that the work tasks could cause injury or illness to a worker.  They are developed by summarizing important information identified from an assessment of a work task.

Employers (the University through the Deans, Department Heads, and Directors) need to ensure that SWPs are:
    ·         Based on information collected by a risk assessment.  This is done using the Job Hazard Analysis, described below,
    ·         Developed in consultation with the safety and health committee - UM’s LASH committees.  (A recommendation is to develop the SWP with the workers performing the task.)
    ·         Approved by management - usually a Dean, Department Head, or Director,
    ·         Fully understood by the workers and supervisors, through training.  Competence in carrying out the SWP needs to be proven.
    ·         Readily available at all times for workers to reference.

Supervisors (definition below) are responsible to ensure:
·         Workers perform job tasks safely – consistent with the SWP and training provided.
Remember to review safe work procedures regularly to ensure they are accurate and effective.  If a task or equipment changes, the safe work procedure(s) that relate to this change must also be updated.

(A supervisor is defined as a person who has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker.  It is not restricted to people with that particular job title.)

Bulletin 249 Part 2:  Safe Work Procedures is provided by the Province and a copy is posted on this webpage.

Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) is a method to perform an assessment of a job task. A JHA is a critical stage in the process of developing a good SWP and is done before the safe work procedure can be written.  It involves breaking the job task into steps to help identify hazards and appropriate control measures.

To conduct a JHA:
1.       Break the job task into its basic steps (describe using a few key words – don’t include ‘safety steps’ at this point),
2.       Identify the safety and health hazards at each of the steps,
3.       Determine control measures to eliminate, substitute, or engineer out the hazards that you have identified.

Bulletin 249 Part 1:  Job Hazard Analysis is provided by the Province and a copy is posted on this webpage.

Critical Job Inventory

To assist in identifying job tasks that require a safe work procedure (and a job hazard analysis), consider developing a critical job inventory. These are specific tasks that are likely to cause an injury or may cause a severe injury or even a fatality, due to the nature of the work being performed.

If it’s a large workplace, start by identifying departments or work areas.  List different occupations or work processes within the departments. List the jobs or tasks within each of those occupations and work processes.