Definition (etc.) of Safe System of Work

Health and Safety Executive did not have the information requested.

Hi.

I was trying to explain the concept of a Safe System of Work recently, and looked to the HSE website for a good explanation. Unfortunately I was not able to find one.

I used the site-specific google search. I also looked in your online glossary, which does not even have an entry for "SSOW".

Do you have such an introductory document ? I think it would be very helpful for newcomers to the field of safety management (or people, perhaps in small organisations, whose role involves an element of safety management).

Ideally it would answer questions like "what is an SSOW" "when is one needed" etc., in a plain English style.

If you have such a document can you please point me to it on your website, and/or send me a copy.

Also: can you please confirm the email address(es) I should use to ask that this information be provided (or made more discoverable) on your website ? (I wasn't able to find that by following the "contact us" pages.)

Yours faithfully,

Ian Jackson.

Health and Safety Executive

Thank you for emailing the Health and Safety Executive. This is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email.

Please note this email account is for the submitting of FOI requests via the 'whatdotheyknow' website only. For all other FOIs requests please refer to http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/your-right-to-...

HSE publishes a comprehensive range of information and guidance on our website. You can find out what the health and safety law requires by searching under the relevant topic or industry section, and all of our publications are free to download. HSE does not operate a telephone helpline for general health and safety information. If you need to engage the services of a health and safety consultant, you may wish to visit the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR).

If your email is a request for advice, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/informatio...

If your email is about a concern, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/complaints...

If you wish to report an incident, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/index.htm

Thank you for contacting the Health and Safety Executive.

Health and Safety Executive

Dear Mr Jackson

 

This is just to let you know that your request regarding safe system of
work etc has been forwarded to our Advice team and will be answered as a
normal business request rather than under Freedom of Information.  They
will be in touch in due course.

 

Regards

 

Helen

 

Helen McGlown PC.foi | Information Management Unit | Freedom of
Information Unit Health & Safety Executive | Knowledge Centre 1G Redgrave
Court, Merton Road, Bootle L20 7HS |

 

 

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Dear Helen,

Thanks for keeping me up to date. I'll look forward to the reply from the advice team.

Yours faithfully,

Ian Jackson

Health and Safety Executive

Thank you for emailing the Health and Safety Executive. This is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email.

Please note this email account is for the submitting of FOI requests via the 'whatdotheyknow' website only. For all other FOIs requests please refer to http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/your-right-to-...

HSE publishes a comprehensive range of information and guidance on our website. You can find out what the health and safety law requires by searching under the relevant topic or industry section, and all of our publications are free to download. HSE does not operate a telephone helpline for general health and safety information. If you need to engage the services of a health and safety consultant, you may wish to visit the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR).

If your email is a request for advice, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/informatio...

If your email is about a concern, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/complaints...

If you wish to report an incident, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/index.htm

Thank you for contacting the Health and Safety Executive.

Health and Safety Executive

2 Attachments

Mr Jackson,

 

 

Thank you for contacting the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) with your
enquiry regarding Risk Assessments.

                 

Your enquiry has been triaged and assessed as an Information Request.  HSE
does not operate a telephone or email helpline for general health & safety
information and all requests for information will be directed to the HSE
website or relevant enforcing authority.  HSE publishes a comprehensive
range of information & guidance on our website.  You can find out what the
health & safety law requires by searching under the relevant [1]topic or
[2]industry section, and all of our [3]publications are free to download.

 

Please see the information at the following links

 

[4]http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/

 

[5]www.hse.gov.uk/managing/health.htm#contentContainer

 

[6]http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/contact.htm

 

 

Kind Regards

 

G Ashton

Concerns and Advice Team (CAT)

Health and Safety Executive | 2.3 Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle L20
7HS 

 

[7]cid:image002.jpg@01D281FE.DEDFF060 
[8]http://newscentre.hse.gov.uk/wp-content/...

 

[9]Find out more and join the conversation #HelpGBWorkWell.

Follow HSE on [10]Twitter, [11]YouTube, [12]LinkedIn and [13]Pinterest

Visit our website for comprehensive health and safety information and
guidance - [14]www.hse.gov.uk

[15]http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/law.pdf

 

HSE is not responsible for and cannot guarantee the accuracy of
information on sites that it does not manage and a hyperlink does not mean
HSE endorses the linked site.

This is a no-reply email account.  Replies will not be received at HSE

 

 

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.hse.gov.uk/guidance/topics.htm
http://www.hse.gov.uk/guidance/topics.htm
2. http://www.hse.gov.uk/guidance/industrie...
http://www.hse.gov.uk/guidance/industrie...
3. http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/index.htm
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/index.htm
4. http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/
5. http://www.hse.gov.uk/managing/health.ht...
6. http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/contact.htm
7. http://www.hse.gov.uk/
9. http://www.hse.gov.uk/strategy/index.htm
10. https://mobile.twitter.com/h_s_e?lang=en
11. https://www.youtube.com/user/healthandsa...
12. https://www.linkedin.com/company/health-...
13. https://uk.pinterest.com/H_S_E/
14. file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/ghaseldi/Application%20Data/Microsoft/Signatures/www.hse.gov.uk
file:///Documents%20and%20Settings/ghaseldi/Application%20Data/Microsoft/Signatures/www.hse.gov.uk
15. http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/law.pdf
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/law.pdf

Dear Health and Safety Executive,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Health and Safety Executive's handling of my FOI request 'Definition (etc.) of Safe System of Work'.

My request was passed by the FOI desk to an advice team. The advice team have referred me to a couple of pages on your website.

Firstly, I was referred to http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/, presumably in response to my primary request for a definition or explanation of "Safe System of Work". However, as I said in my request, I had already searched the website. And, indeed, that web page does not contain references to safe systems of work, as far as I can see.

Secondly, I was referred to http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/contact.htm, presumably in response to my request for an email address to send website comments. However, as I said in my request, that web page gives various other contact points, but none seems appropriate for a request for website improvements.

So, treating your response as a FOI refusal on the basis of "information available by other means", I think this is not right. Can you please actually answer the questions I posed ?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

Thanks in advance for your help.

Yours faithfully,

Ian Jackson

Health and Safety Executive

Thank you for emailing the Health and Safety Executive. This is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email.

Please note this email account is for the submitting of FOI requests via the 'whatdotheyknow' website only. For all other FOIs requests please refer to http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/your-right-to-...

HSE publishes a comprehensive range of information and guidance on our website. You can find out what the health and safety law requires by searching under the relevant topic or industry section, and all of our publications are free to download. HSE does not operate a telephone helpline for general health and safety information. If you need to engage the services of a health and safety consultant, you may wish to visit the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR).

If your email is a request for advice, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/informatio...

If your email is about a concern, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/complaints...

If you wish to report an incident, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/index.htm

Thank you for contacting the Health and Safety Executive.

Health and Safety Executive

Dear Mr Jackson

Your request is a request that HSE would answer under our normal business procedures rather than FOI. As such we will not be applying our internal review procedure as your request has not been answered under FOI.

I do, however, see your point that the specific questions raised have not been answered and I have therefore escalated this to the Advice team manager.

Regards

Helen

Helen McGlown PC.foi | Information Management Unit | Freedom of Information Unit Health & Safety Executive | Knowledge Centre 1G Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle L20 7HS |

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Dear Helen,

Thanks for your message. I look forward to the reply from the Advice team manager.

I would like to point out that, legally speaking, that "[this] is a request that HSE would answer under our normal business procedures rather than FOI" is not relevant. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 covers any request for information, where the request is in writing and states the requestor's name. See s8 of the Act: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000....

The Act does provide that positive and helpful replies can be made without formality. So if you do not have a document about Safe Systems of Work, you can just say so; likewise if there is no way to contact anyone about the website, you can say that too.

However, if the HSE feels it is not appropriate to actually answer my request, the provisions of s17 (Refusal) come into play. Specifically, you should quote the specific exemption you are relying on.

I am treating your escalation to the Advice team manager as the internal review contemplated by s50(2)(a) of the Act. It doesn't seem sensible to me to escalate this matter to the Information Commissioner at this stage. But, can you please confirm that you will be complying with the law, and specifically that you will comply with the Freedom of Information Act as it applies to my request.

Thanks.

Yours faithfully,

Ian Jackson

Health and Safety Executive

Thank you for emailing the Health and Safety Executive. This is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email.

Please note this email account is for the submitting of FOI requests via the 'whatdotheyknow' website only. For all other FOIs requests please refer to http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/your-right-to-...

HSE publishes a comprehensive range of information and guidance on our website. You can find out what the health and safety law requires by searching under the relevant topic or industry section, and all of our publications are free to download. HSE does not operate a telephone helpline for general health and safety information. If you need to engage the services of a health and safety consultant, you may wish to visit the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR).

If your email is a request for advice, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/informatio...

If your email is about a concern, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/complaints...

If you wish to report an incident, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/index.htm

Thank you for contacting the Health and Safety Executive.

Health and Safety Executive

Dear Mr Jackson

I have asked the Advice team manager to copy me in to the response in order that I ensure that our obligations under the FOI Act 2000 have been satisfied.

Regards

Helen

Helen McGlown PC.foi | Information Management Unit | Freedom of Information Unit Health & Safety Executive | Knowledge Centre 1G Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle L20 7HS |
: +44 020 3028 3159 |  : [email address]

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Dear Helen,

Thanks. Sorry to be so awkward.

Yours faithfully,

Ian Jackson

Health and Safety Executive

Thank you for emailing the Health and Safety Executive. This is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email.

Please note this email account is for the submitting of FOI requests via the 'whatdotheyknow' website only. For all other FOIs requests please refer to http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/your-right-to-...

HSE publishes a comprehensive range of information and guidance on our website. You can find out what the health and safety law requires by searching under the relevant topic or industry section, and all of our publications are free to download. HSE does not operate a telephone helpline for general health and safety information. If you need to engage the services of a health and safety consultant, you may wish to visit the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR).

If your email is a request for advice, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/informatio...

If your email is about a concern, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/complaints...

If you wish to report an incident, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/index.htm

Thank you for contacting the Health and Safety Executive.

Health and Safety Executive

1 Attachment

Mr Jackson,

 

I write to address the issues that you have raised regarding the response
you received in answering your advice request.

 

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) does not have the specific guidance on
Safe Systems of Work that you require. A definition or explanation of Safe
Systems of work as defined by NEBOSH is: “The integration of personnel,
articles and substances in a laid out and considered method of working
which takes proper account of the risks to employees and others who may be
affected, such as visitors and contractors, and provides a formal
framework to ensure that all of the steps necessary for safe working have
been anticipated and implemented.” 

 

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health
and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 place duties on companies and
individuals to ensure that adequate provision is made for health and
safety at work.

                     

Employers must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health,
safety and welfare of employees and any others who may be affected by what
they do.  To do this they must carry out a risk assessment of the work
activities and put in place any measures identified to control the risk. 
These control measures would determine what the safe system of work was.

 

HSE’s role requires us to ensure that duty holders comply with
legislation, however,  we do not prescribe in detail how that is
achieved.  Because every undertaking is unique and diverse the onus is on
the duty holder to ensure that they comply with current legislation. 

 

A comprehensive range of information and guidance is published and made
available on our website, so while we are unable to answer your question
directly, we do endeavour to assist you finding the most appropriate
method to provide the answer.

 

On receipt of your advice request, there were a number of resources that
were deemed applicable to assist you with your query. These included links
to Risk Management and Managing for Health and Safety.  On the latter, you
will find guidance document HSG65 which is a book aimed at business
leaders, owners and managers who are implementing health and safety
arrangements for a company.  Based on the description of your needs, when
you asked for an introductory document to assist newcomers to the field of
safety management, it was deemed that this, coupled with the Risk
Management (Controlling the risks in the workplace) link would be most
suitable.

 

If you require more specific advice, tailored to how the health and safety
law applies to your particular workplace, you may wish to visit the
Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register website, who may be
able to offer further assistance.

 

There is not a specific email address for general enquiries or for
suggesting changes to the website.  However, your comments have been sent
to the appropriate team within HSE for consideration.

 

 

Regards

 

Louise Brown

Advice Team Manager

 

 

 

 

Health and Safety Executive

 

 

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Dear Louise,

Thank you for that clear response. I appreciate your candour.

Yours faithfully,

Ian Jackson

Health and Safety Executive

Thank you for emailing the Health and Safety Executive. This is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email.

Please note this email account is for the submitting of FOI requests via the 'whatdotheyknow' website only. For all other FOIs requests please refer to http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/your-right-to-...

HSE publishes a comprehensive range of information and guidance on our website. You can find out what the health and safety law requires by searching under the relevant topic or industry section, and all of our publications are free to download. HSE does not operate a telephone helpline for general health and safety information. If you need to engage the services of a health and safety consultant, you may wish to visit the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR).

If your email is a request for advice, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/informatio...

If your email is about a concern, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/complaints...

If you wish to report an incident, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/index.htm

Thank you for contacting the Health and Safety Executive.

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