Safe Systems of Work

Fisherman Washing the Deck

A large percentage of accidents occur due to lack of or failure in systems of work. Implementing safe systems of work is an important part of fishing safety.

The law, requires employers to provide systems of work that are planned, organised, performed, maintained and revised as appropriate so as to be, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risk to health.

What is a system of work?

A system of work is a set of procedures according to which work must be carried out. Safe systems of work are required where hazards cannot be eliminated and some risk still exists. When developing your safe systems of work, consider how the work is carried out and the difficulties that might arise and expose you or your workers to risk. Then develop a set of procedures detailing how the work must be carried out to minimise or reduce the risk of accident or injury.

Systems of work must be communicated and understood by the relevant employees. The detail of the system of work, for example, whether it is oral or written will depend on the level of risk and the complexity of the work involved. For example, high risk activities where there is a risk of serious injury or death, will need to have documented systems of work which are strictly supervised and enforced.

Review your systems of work

Regularly review your systems of work to ensure that they still reduce or minimise risk and revise as necessary.

Safe Systems of Work can reduce or eliminate exposure to hazards but they must be strictly followed.