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Safety Manuals

Viimati uuendatud: 13.05.2020


Safety instructions specify how an employee should work in order to prevent injuries. Practical experience shows that carefully drawn up safety instructions save lives and ensure more efficient instruction and training.

Safety instructions which fulfil their purpose are:

  • short;
  • comprehensive;
  • visual, illustrated;
  • easy to read and memorise;
  • drawn up in cooperation with the employees of the company.

Safety instructions must include all tasks performed at the company and all the equipment used; additionally, the safety instructions of equipment must take into consideration the requirements included in the user manual of the manufacturer of the equipment.

The process of drawing up good safety instructions should involve managerial staff, the working environment representative, and employees. The company’s daily work processes and the use of the work equipment from activation to maintenance should be reviewed together. From the perspective of work operations, all risk factors (physical, chemical, biological, psychosocial, physiological) and the related preventive measures to prevent injuries should be described. This way, the instructions will serve their purpose as much as possible.

Covering the safety requirements of several different pieces of work equipment in one document is only advisable if an employee uses all these pieces of equipment. Otherwise, the requirements related to the work of a specific employee should be separated in the safety instructions. If an employee performs very different tasks, it might be a good idea to consider compiling separate safety instructions.

Good safety instructions make legislation, standards, and the safety requirements applicable at the company easily understandable for the employees. Irrespective of the manner of acquiring or compiling safety instructions, the employer is responsible for the content of the instructions.

The employee must read written safety instructions before commencement of work and must be able to read it later as well, if they wish. The employer must organise the drawing up and updating of the safety instructions based on their experience, the internal auditing and risk analysis of the working environment, and research materials on occupational accidents, accident hazards, and actual accidents. The instruction must be repeated after updating of safety instructions.

Safety instructions should be easily accessible for the employees. Brief information which includes the most important safety requirements related to a piece of work equipment may also be placed next to the location where the equipment is used. For example, if the piece of equipment is a monitor, there may be a poster with exercises which the employee should do during their break placed next to it.

Important points to remember when drawing up safety instructions

  • Involve managerial staff, the working environment representative, and the employees in the compiling of safety instructions.
  • Consider and discuss the company’s daily work and the use of work equipment.
  • Describe the risk factors and preventive measures based on a specific work operation and workstation.
  • Formalise the safety instructions so that they are easy to read, understand, and remember. Add pictures and figures which provide a lot of valuable information to the new employees.
  • Make sure that the safety instructions match the working environment and the piece of equipment used.

For advice and further information on drawing up safety instructions, please contact a work environment consultant of the Labour Inspectorate by calling the Department of Prevention or writing to ti@ti.ee.

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