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HOW TO GUIDE

TITLE: HOW TO WRITE A SAFE SYSTEM OF WORK INCLUDING A STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE

THIS HOW TO GUIDE SHOULD BE READ IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE RELEVANT POLICY AND FORMS AND
WORKED EXAMPLE

Definition Safe System of Work


There is no single accepted legal definition of a Safe System of Work but health and safety
legislation refers to systems of work . that are safe. A safe system of work is an umbrella
phrase for describing methods of carrying out tasks in ways which minimise the risks associated
with the tasks.
There are two categories of safe systems of work, formal and informal.

Examples of a formal safe system of work include standard operating procedure, method
statement and permit to work.

Examples of an informal safe system of work include, verbal instructions, list of does and donts
and accepted custom and practice.

Mentor Services have adopted the use of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as a preferred
template and for high risk activities such as working in confined spaces the permit to work system
is mandatory.

Separate How to Guides are available on Method Statements and Permit to Work

Introduction
The following guidance is intended for you to be able to complete the Mentor Services Standard
Operating Procedure template.

Procedural Steps
The sections of the form should be completed as follows

Reference: Enter a unique reference number or code that will


have meaning to your organisation/company
Workplace: Identify the specific location where the task is
undertaken
Task/Operation: Briefly describe the task or operation that the
procedure is to cover.
Operating Procedure Developed by: Name of person writing SOP to be recorded
Approved by: Name of individual approving SOP
Review Completed by: Name of person reviewing SOP to be recorded.

Sequence of Job Steps: This should be a list of named or numbered individual


steps that make up the entire operational task.
Potential Hazards/Risks of each Step: You should try to identify all the significant hazards
that are applicable to each specific step of the
procedure.
Standard Operating Procedure: Against each step, you must clearly state how it is
undertaken and how each identified hazard is
controlled.
Personal Protective Equipment needed: Using the numbered PPE types shown at the bottom
of the form identify each type of PPE required for that
step and any specific additions.

(The Royal Bank of Scotland Mentor Services) 1 of 1