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Safety Manuals

Viimati uuendatud: 25.02.2017

Safety Manuals

When the employee begins work, the employer is responsible to conduct introductory instruction and primary instruction at the workplace. Both introductory and primary instruction at the workplace are conducted following the written and approved safety manual. The main aim of the safety manual is to provide information to the employee on how to work safely. The manual must correspond to the specific workplace, used machinery and devices. More information about compiling the safety manual is available in the employer's view.

By signing that the instruction was held, the employee obliges to act following the safety manual. Therefore, when any discrepancies or unrealistic orders and prohibitions are noticed in the manual, the employer must be notified. Holding the instruction and verifying it by signing is not a pointless formality done to please the labour inspector – it is a very important procedure and its’ quality could determine the sufficiency of the employee’s training, whether the employee can avoid health damages during work, or not.

Compiling the Safety Manual

The safety manual is compiled by the employer (often, the working environment specialist or manager of the specific work operation), taking the device user manual into account. The manual should contain the following:

  • possible hazard situations and instructions on how to act in cases      of emergency;
  • important measures to guarantee the safety of the employee and others      (incl. the use of personal protective equipment);
  • hazards related to the surrounding work environment (e.g. lifting      works done in the vicinity).

When compiling the safety manual, consider the company’s risk assessment, employees’ experiences and previous 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);
  • clear 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 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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