Top 7 Essential Safety Documents Every Workplace Should Have

Jack Lyons Account Executive
Last Updated

Within highly regulated industries such as construction, renewable energy, aviation, and transportation, successful project management – scope, cost, schedule, and quality performance – often take center stage. 

However, true success hinges, not just on completing projects within time and budget, but on another non-negotiable: safety management.

These industries, filled with the presence of heavy machinery, power tools, elevated structures, and confined spaces, demand an unwavering commitment to safety protocols and a reliable health and safety management software.

Whether as a contractor leading construction teams, an owner overseeing operations, or a consultant managing strategy, fostering a robust safety culture is paramount and safety documentation is a critical component.

Contents:

What Are Safety Documents?

Documents for safety form the foundation of a secure workplace and include policies, procedures, plans, and hazard guidelines which are all designed to help control risks and communicate safety protocol.

Importance of Health and Safety Documentation

Health and safety documentation serves as a transparent framework, acting both preemptively against potential threats and responsively following incidents.

Regular review and updates are therefore essential, covering aspects like policy assessments, risk management, legal compliance, and trust-building. 

Articulating standardized protocols and best practices not only ensures regulatory compliance but also fosters a shared commitment to team health, well-being, and operational efficiency. 

Many industries are still relying on paper-based safety document processes and this can make the continuous updates and safety communication across teams and projects slow and error-prone. 
When considering the robustness of safety documents, within your organization, it’s wise to also consider the workflows and processes around health and safety.

Cloud-based systems, such as Fluix, digitize workflows and documents for safety, offering accessibility for remote teams and ensuring consistency, completeness, and accuracy in reporting.

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Essential Safety Documents Every Company Needs

Every company has different needs, depending on the industry, size, and specific risks associated with their business. Which means the documentation they manage also differs.

However, there are some fundamental safety documents that are generally applicable across different sectors. Here is a list of key ones:

1. Near Miss Repor

Near Miss Reports aid in recognizing protocol weaknesses, offering insights for improvement, preventing recurring unsafe scenarios, and improving workplace safety. The purpose of this report is to provide crucial insights for safety management.

For example, documenting incidents like repeated wrong turns in a road construction project helps identify areas for adjustment.

All Near Miss Reports can occur as a result of one or more of the following:

  • Dangerous conditions
  • Unsafe practices and procedures
  • Human errors and oversight
  • Lack of operator training
  • Lack of safety awareness and training
  • Cutting corners
  • Poor communication
  • Malfunctioning or hazardous tools and equipment
  • Absence of a transparent system to report and record near misses

What’s included in a Near Miss Report?

Standardized and digitized Near Miss forms simplify reporting, by providing a consistent format. Best practices include keeping the form simple, aiming for speed, allowing media attachments, enabling anonymous reporting, and ensuring easy access.

A Near Miss Report will detail:

  1. Date, time, and location of the incident
  2. Department
  3. Incident description
  4. Root cause (behavior, equipment, etc.)
  5. Supporting documents (photos, hazard analyzes, etc.)
  6. Next steps and specific action items

You can access the You can access the Fluix Near Miss Report Checklist for free.

2. PPE Inspection Checklist

A PPE Checklist, or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) checklist, is a crucial safety document for safeguarding employees in hazardous work environments.

Required by law in many countries and designed to protect various body parts, including the head, skin, hands, feet, and functions like respiration and hearing, PPE maximizes employee safety and prevents injuries or fatalities associated with workplace hazards.

The purpose of a PPE Inspection Checklist is to identify and address issues, as well as streamline process results in faster defect correction, contributing to increased overall safety. 

What’s included in a PPE Inspection Checklist?

While the checklist contents vary based on the work environment, it typically includes sections for reporting defects. It can also be used in a safety audit, ensuring proper wearing of equipment. 

Templates can be tailored to industry-specific needs, and the checklist can serve as a report on PPE conditions. Each template will examine different hazards, with examples including:

  • Eyes: Safety glasses, goggles, or face shields.
  • Head: Helmets and other head protection.
  • Ears: Earplugs or earmuffs for hearing protection.
  • Hands: Gloves, offering hand and arm protection.
  • Feet: Steel-toed boots or other footwear, ensuring foot safety.
  • Respiratory System: Masks to breathing apparatus, based on air quality.
  • Full-Body: Harnesses for fall protection, hazardous material suits, and similar items cater to overall body safety.

You can access the You can access the Fluix PPE Inspection Checklists template for free.

3. Risk Assessment and Method Statements (RAMS)

Risk Assessments and Method Statements (RAMS) are essential documents for safety that provide a detailed breakdown of hazardous activities, outlining steps and risk reduction efforts. 

RAMS synergizes with the risk assessment process, forming the foundation of a proactive safety management system. Each such activity necessitates a method of statement in a Risk Assessment and Method Statement (RAMS) document.

Component #1: The Risk Assessment

A risk assessment records workplace hazards, evaluates their likelihood and severity, and plans control measures to eliminate or reduce risks. This process systematically identifies potential hazards, considering elements causing harm, individuals or groups at risk, and potential effects.

Component #2: The Method Statement

Method statements, synonymous with a safe system of work, expand on risk assessments by detailing hazard management, control measures, and safety precautions for specific activities. Focused on high-risk work, such as working at heights, they break down tasks, assess associated hazards, and describe control measures. 

What’s included in RAMS?

RAMS templates typically share a common structure, encompassing the following sections:

  • Introduction to Project: Includes version details, document preparer’s name, and a method statement.
  • Scope of Work: Break down program methods into workflows with start and finish dates.
  • Risk Assessment: Identifies task and material-specific risks along with control measures.
  • Control Measures: Covers monitoring, supervision, security needs, worksite safety, and personal protective equipment.
  • Emergency Procedures: Outlines emergency response and evacuation protocols with contact information.

When crafting your checklist, consider the specific environment, activities, and components pertinent to your workplace. A hazard identification checklist should cover the following basic elements:

  1. Nature of work
  2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  3. Noise exposure
  4. Manual handling
  5. Excavation
  6. Working at heights
  7. Slip and trip hazards
  8. Site security and emergency preparedness
  9. Ambient conditions when working outdoors
  10. Cuts and abrasions
  11. Hazardous substances
  12. Plant and machinery
  13. Falling objects
  14. Lifting procedures
  15. Fire or ignition sources (hot work)
  16. Environmental impacts
  17. Decontamination of plant and equipment
  18. Vibration
  19. Spill prevention measures
  20. Waste disposal
  21. Customer and surrounding property
  22. Nearby work
  23. Asbestos

​​The checklist accelerates hazard identification with a ready-to-use tool, serves as a valuable training resource, and facilitates tracking progress in risk management efforts, providing evidence of due diligence.

You can access You can access Fluix Risk Assessment and Method Statement for free.

4. Hazard Identification Checklist

A Hazard Identification Checklist, also referred to as a hazard assessment form, serves as a resource utilized by safety officers to conduct hazard assessments. The primary objective of a hazard assessment is to recognize possible health and safety risks through the examination of workplace conditions or practices. 

This procedure is ultimately integrated into an organization’s comprehensive Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) management system.

What’s included in a Hazard Identification Checklist?

When crafting your checklist, consider the specific environment, activities, and components pertinent to your workplace. A hazard identification checklist should cover the following basic elements:

  1. Nature of work
  2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  3. Noise exposure
  4. Manual handling
  5. Excavation
  6. Working at heights
  7. Slip and trip hazards
  8. Site security and emergency preparedness
  9. Ambient conditions when working outdoors
  10. Cuts and abrasions
  11. Hazardous substances
  12. Plant and machinery
  13. Falling objects
  14. Lifting procedures
  15. Fire or ignition sources (hot work)
  16. Environmental impacts
  17. Decontamination of plant and equipment
  18. Vibration
  19. Spill prevention measures
  20. Waste disposal
  21. Customer and surrounding property
  22. Nearby work
  23. Asbestos

The checklist accelerates hazard identification with a ready-to-use tool, serves as a valuable training resource, and facilitates tracking progress in risk management efforts, providing evidence of due diligence.

You can access the You can access the Fluix Safety Hazard Report for free.

5. Toolbox Talks Checklist

Toolbox talks are brief and informal safety meetings that complement formal training provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Toolbox Talks play a crucial role in safeguarding field crews and preventing accidents. While OSHA doesn’t specify content and frequency, most construction companies conduct regular talks to fulfill safety training requirements. These talks ensure that employees have the necessary tools and information to perform their job responsibilities safely.

According to OSHA’s 2023 data, here are the top 10 frequently cited safety violations:

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements
  2. Hazard Communication 
  3. Ladders
  4. Scaffolding
  5. Powered Industrial Trucks
  6. Lockout/Tagout
  7. Respiratory Protection
  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements
  9. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection
  10. Machine Guarding

What’s included in Toolbox Talks Checklists?

A Toolbox Talks Checklist serves as a guide for construction site supervisors, foremen, or managers conducting Toolbox Talks. Ranging from short 5-10 minute refreshers to more in-depth sessions, these talks cover best practices, introduce new procedures or update guidelines. It details aspects such as:

  • Safety topics
  • Safety procedures
  • Jobsite inspection
  • Incident reports
  • Questions
  • Feedback

You can access the You can access the Fluix Toolbox Talks Checklist template for free.

6. Incident Report

An incident report is a form designed to document workplace illnesses, injuries, near misses, and accidents. It is crucial to complete an incident report promptly, regardless of the injury’s severity.

The content required by law in an incident report may vary based on federal or provincial legislation.

What’s included in an Incident Report?

The key components of a comprehensive Incident Report entail the following:

  • Names of all individuals involved, including witnesses and immediate supervisors
  • Specific location details, including street address and indoor facility specifics
  • Activities individuals were engaged in when the incident occurred
  • Factors leading to the incident and the events as they unfolded
  • Descriptions of injuries resulting from the incident
  • Tools or equipment utilized during the incident
  • Identification of any hazards present
  • Inclusion of photographs depicting the incident area

You can access the You can access the Fluix Incident Report template for free.

7. Safety Training and Orientation Checklist

Prioritizing health and safety within your organization is imperative, aligning with regulations set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Complying with safety standards may be a contractual obligation or an insurance requirement, emphasizing the need for a robust health and safety training.

A comprehensive safety training and orientation checklist will address the importance of clear procedures for responding to and reporting incidents on the job. Utilizing tools such as an employee safety orientation checklist becomes integral to safeguarding your business and its workforce.

What’s Included in a Safety Training and Orientation Checklist?

A robust safety training and orientation checklist is essential for promoting safe work environment and ensuring that employees are well-equipped to handle various scenarios. This versatile checklist can be adapted to different situations, including:

Health and Safety Questionnaire for New Employees:

  • Assesses fitness for work or understanding of best practices
  • Identifies critical areas of need within the organization

New Employee Health and Safety Checklist:

  • Ensures procurement of necessary protective gear for employees working in specific conditions
  • Verifies scheduling for OSHA safety training or site-specific safety education

Employee Safety Orientation Checklist:

  • Tailors safety courses based on specific roles, projects, or contracts
  • Customizes safety program elements for a particular orientation session

Safety Orientation Checklist Construction Plan:

  • Aligns with client requirements for safety devices or equipment under a specific contract
  • Specifies mandatory training courses for on-site personnel

Incident Response:

  • Captures incident details, reporting, investigation, corrective actions, and follow-up information

Training Course Creation:

  • Involves checklists for developing new training courses in response to incidents or identified training needs
  • Ensures formalization and integration of the new course into company practices

You can access You can access Fluix Safety Training checklist for free.

Elevating Safety Excellence with Fluix

In dynamic industries like construction, renewable energy, aviation, and transportation, genuine success extends beyond traditional project metrics.

With intricate operations and tight timelines, success hinges on robust safety management, making a commitment to safety imperative for contractors, owners, and consultants, with safety documents forming the foundation of a secure workplace.

Fluix stands out as a trusted solution, already making a significant impact for companies like NKT, Dana Crane Services, Titan Airways, and Panorama Helicopters.

A digital system, like Fluix, not only enhances the speed and accuracy of safety documentation processes, but also contributes to a building a safety culture.

It offers a powerful tool for safety management, boasting features such as workflow automation for efficient processes, e-signatures for seamless documentation, form filling for streamlined data collection, data driven safety insights, and integrations for enhanced connectivity.

The Tools You Need for Efficient HSE Management

Let us show you how to create a safer workplace with Fluix

The Tools You Need for Efficient HSE Management

Let us show you how to create a safer workplace with Fluix