Extending Health and Safety Throughout Your Supply Chain

September 1, 2016

Your organisation—regardless of size or industry—most likely relies on at least one supply chain to support its regular operations. However, as a supply chain is an interconnected system, the slightest change could have debilitating effects. Even something as innocuous as one of your suppliers increasing the weight of their packages could expose your employees to health and safety risks. It is therefore vital for you to implement health and safety practices throughout your organisation’s supply chain.

To ensure that your health and safety practices for your supply chains will be effective and thorough, follow these three steps:

  1. 1.     Identify supply chains: For each of your company’s supply chains, outline the current process and be as detailed as possible. In your outlines, be sure to include how the product or service is delivered, handled, transported, stored, used, packaged and distributed.
  2. 2.     Assess the risks: Review each step of your processes to determine if there are any potential risks. For any risks that are identified, develop safe alternatives. For example, if your supplier’s packages have increased in weight, have your employees transport them with the use of handcarts rather than manually.
  3. 3.     Involve your employees in the discussion: Schedule a regular meeting with your employees, at least annually, to discuss each of your supply chain processes. Have employees share any potential risks that they regularly encounter. If any risks are mentioned that have not already been identified and addressed, discuss with your employees what precautions could be taken to mitigate the risk.

Review each of your supply chain health and safety practices at least annually as well as after any incident has occurred.

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