If a proper management system is the engine of safety and health, then one can consider documentation to be its oil. Documentation is the lubricant that allows the system to be effective and to evolve as needed. That documentation needs to be as thorough and comprehensive as possible. ConvergePoint’s Health and Safety Management Software allows you to collate all your documentation into one convenient, central repository.
It is important to note that there are different types of documentation. The most common of these is a procedure, also sometimes referred to as a directive or safe work procedure, which is a written specification for a series of actions, acts or operations which have to be executed in the same manner in order to always obtain the same result under the same circumstances (e.g. an emergency procedure).
A works instruction is a document that provides detailed requirements for a specific type of operation (e.g. the maintenance requirements or operating instructions for given machinery). An instruction identifies how work is done, by whom, where, and when it is done, and as precisely and sequentially as possible. Records are those documents that are even more specific and provide proof of the implementation of a given procedure or works instruction. A record is usually in the form of a checklist, register or other prescriptive type of form that needs to be filled in as part of a verification process. You also have records as prescribed by legislation or regulatory regime (e.g. the Injury & Illness Record-keeping Forms issued by OSHA – 300, 300A, 301, etc.)