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Compiling the Safety Manuals

Compiling the Safety Manuals

The manuals are compiled by the employer (often, by the working environment specialist or manager of the work section handled by the manual), considering the user manual of the device.

The safety manuals should reflect: possible hazard situations and code of conduct during those situations; important means to guarantee the safety of a person and others (incl. the use of personal protective equipment); hazards emanating from the surrounding working environment (e.g., lifting works done in the vicinity). When compiling the safety manuals, take into consideration the company risk assessment, employee experiences and past hazard situations, occupational accidents and occupational diseases.

It is important to keep the reader in mind – information in the instructions must be easily comprehensible. To achieve this, you might use: text division (separate paragraphs, sub-titles); colours and photos (add a photo of the emergency stop button of a machine, for instance); simple language (simple words, short sentences) and practical recommendations (the instructions in the manual must be applicable in practice as well).

Before approving the manual, it should be reviewed by an employee who comes does the described work daily – they can check the appropriateness of the requirements, clarity of the manual, and improve the manual, if necessary. The manual should be as brief as possible, making the legalities and the company’s safety requirements easily comprehensible, containing only relevant text (for instance, not extracts from legislation that are not relevant for the specific workplace). 

The manual should not contain too much general information; for instance, the work-related legal acts could be listed in the introductory manual, but not in each individual safety manual. If the manual is based on a similar manual of a similar device or work in some other company, it must certainly be adapted to your company by removing all unnecessary information and verifying that the manual explains the features specific to your company.

As the safety manual is a document that changes in time (for instance, it should be reviewed if occupational accidents occur or new safety remarks are made during work), it should either bear a version number or a date – this guarantees that the employee has read the most updated version. When the safety manuals are updated, the employee must be provided the follow-up instruction.

The safety manual preservation order is determined by the employer. The employee must be able to consult the manuals at any times. The safety manuals are stored in a company either at workplaces, the shift supervisor or secretary. It is important to guarantee that the latest version of the manual is always available for the employees. The working environment specialist is obliged to check that when the manual is updated, copies kept at workplaces are also replaced.

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