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Sample Safe Work Procedure Template

Some industries and jobs are more dangerous than others and pose risks to employees, contractors,
and/or visitors. A good risk management system includes safe work procedures, reducing risks in the
workplace, and ensuring employees are familiar with the ways in which tasks are performed safely.

What’s the difference between safe work practice and safe work procedures?

Safe work practices
Written methods outlining how to perform a task with minimum risk to people, equipment, materials, environment, and processes. 

Safe work procedures
A series of specific steps that guide a worker through a task from start to finish in chronological order.

Safe Work Procedures include:

  • Description of work
  • Scope
  • Authorizations and/or pre-requisites
  • Potential hazards
  • Safety controls
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements
  • Prestart, Training / Learning / Cerification requirements
  • Responsibilities of each employee/contractor involved
  • Instructions or a fixed sequence of steps to follow
  • Clean up / shut down procedures
  • Emergency / evacuation procedures
  • Any additional information that needs noting

Where do I start?

Identify the hazards, risks, and potential dangers that could harm or injure employees and put
controls in place to fix/manage them. To ensure safety, and most effectively prevent injuries, events,
or illness for employees, contractors, and visitors within your organization here’s what to do.

Follow the four key steps below:

Step 1 – Identify the hazard 
Assess your environment/workplace, hold discussions with employees, contractors and visitors,
review previous incident/event data, research potential issues and tasks, or use a hazard
identification checklist.

Step 2 – Assess the risk 
Determine the severity and the likeliness of the event/incident happening.

Step 3 – Control the risk 
Put steps/controls in place to eliminate the hazard, where possible or minimize the risks by eliminating the hazard if possible, or as far as possible.

Step 4 – Review the controls 
Put regular checks in place to review the controls in place and that they are working as planned.

Each step in the process can be recorded with a risk assessment template. If you require a risk assessment template, click here for a free download.

Once familiar with the process, use the risk register and management plan template to record all risks in your workplace.

How do I develop safe work procedures?

Firstly, acknowledge all the required tasks that need to be completed within your workplace, and
identify any risks that could cause harm to employees, contractors, or visitors. This can form part of
the risk mitigation/management steps above, or manage any outstanding risk after you’ve
completed the steps.

Secondly, complete a task analysis for the identified task(s), highlighting the steps of each task, the
risk (what could go wrong), and any controls (what to do about it).

Lastly, document the control measures in place for any risks you cannot eliminate. The steps of the
task and the corresponding control measures make up your safe work procedure.

Employees and contractors need to be made aware of or trained on, the correct procedures in place.
The documented safe work procedures need to be easily accessible and regularly reviewed.

While paper-based forms are great for managing your risks and procedures in the workplace,
digitalizing your safety management system can bring a whole heap of benefits.

Donesafe’s powerful safety management system with dedicated risk and hazard management is
suited to all industry types and facilitates the creation of configured safe work procedures to match
your business requirements, procedures that all employees can use.

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