Safe Operating Procedures

Safe Operating Procedures (SOP) are an effective method for communicating the correct way of using a tool or piece of equipment or carrying out an activity within your workplace.
It is good practice to develop and maintain health and safety documents.  Safe Operating Procedures are a good example of health and safety documentation.  Others include: forms, plans, policies, checklists, posters, signs, training materials, written agreements and other resources that explain to workers: – how to work safely and protect their health – how to manage workplace risks – what to do if something goes wrong.

A risk assessment is a critical FIRST step.

A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of what, in your work, could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm. Workers and others have a right to be protected from harm caused by a failure to take reasonable control measures. It can take many formats such as Job Safety Analysis (JSA) and TAKE 5s. See the Risk Assessment and Management page for specific detail

Once your risk assessments are completed you will need safe operating procedures

A Safe Operating Procedure is a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organisation to help workers carry out complex routine operations. SOPs aim to achieve efficiency, quality output, and uniformity of performance, while reducing miscommunication and failure to comply with industry regulations.

We will work with your team to develop safe operating procedures so they work safely

Safe Operating Procedures should be written with sufficient detail to ensure that someone with limited experience or knowledge of the procedure, but with a basic understanding, can successfully carry out the procedure in a safe manner when unsupervised. They should be written in concise, logical, step-by-step, easy-to-read format.

Once your Safe Operating Procedure

is complete the next step will be to communicate the procedure in a manner that your workers will understand.  How will you share the information?

Some workers may:

  • have English as a second language
  • be blind or have low vision
  • have an intellectual or other learning disability
  • be unable to hold documents or turn pages because of a physical disability
  • have difficulty accessing information on the internet

Communication options  to consider:

  • audio files
  • large print
  • posters
  • video