The name, Safe Operating Procedure (SOP), is one of the names that may be given to a work procedure that is created and written after;
1. identifying and assessing the health and safety risks involved in a work
activity, and then,
2. identifying how to eliminate the risks, or otherwise, what reasonably
practicable actions can be done to minimise those risks.
Basically an SOP is the "how to do this work activity and remain safe and healthy". *
1. SOPs reduce the risk of injury and illness.
2. They provide a stable reference point for all WHS duty holders on “how to do this work activity and remain safe and healthy”.
3. They improve the awareness and understanding of risks in your workplace and how to handle them.
4. They are created using the input of consultation with workers. So they help to enhance the process of consultation and demonstrate compliance with mandatory consultation (WHS Act section 49).
5. They are a tested and agreed upon procedure that can be used to train workers in the steps to use to perform an activity in a safe and healthy manner.
6. They are a stable and reliable reference point for your Health and Safety Committee and/or Health and Safety Reps when they are doing workplace inspections and carrying out their vital functions of helping to make a safe and healthy workplace.
7. If a WorkCover Inspector arrives at your workplace to investigate a workplace incident they will want to see any SOP you have that is relevant to that incident.
8. They demonstrate your organisation’s intention to have a safe and healthy workplace.
9. They help to demonstrate to a SafeWork Inspector or a Court that
a) all reasonably practicable steps have been taken to eliminate or
minimise the risks of a work activity, and
b) that work activities are in accordance with relevant Codes of
*For further details about SOPs see our article Do you really need Safe Operating Procedures?
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