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5 easy steps to integrate health & safety to your FSMS

By Linda Jackson on 08 November 2016

Integrating health & safety with your FSMS


Before you panic,  you are probably doing most of it already. 

Picture the scene: You have just had the third argument this week about filling in forms. The production team are throwing their toys out of the cot at the volume of paperwork. “Why must we do things twice?”

Indeed, why must we do things twice?

So as the food safety co-ordinator take the lead, be brave, rationalise the documentation. This will mean working with your health and safety colleagues but last time I looked you both worked for the same company.

Integrating your systems

There are 5 easy places where you can share the load and make the both systems more effective.

1 Induction

You both have the objective of informing new employees about the rules. Why not share the platform and make it count twice as much? Health and safety induction is essential to ensure the employer has completed the legal duty to inform thus it is much more likely to happen so why not capitalise on this for food safety.

2 Contractors and visitors

Why not centralise the document for visitors and contractors? Place it at reception under the watchful eye of your fierce receptionist who will ensure NO ONE goes beyond that door without first signing away their lives. While you are at it, make it interesting to read to visitors and contractors actually do this before signing.

3 Contractors and procurement

Both health and safety and food safety require some screening of new suppliers or products and services before approving them. Why not combine the systems and use the accounts department as the gate keeper. In other words, new suppliers cannot be loaded onto the system unless all the food safety requirements are met and new contractors cannot be loaded onto the system unless all vendor requirements are met. Trust me when it involves payment everyone is motivated to do things properly.

4 Work procedures

Your health and safety system will have a set of Safe work procedures for hazardous tasks. Very often these are in the Safety manager’s file and not on the shop floor.  Food safety operational procedures are likely to address some of these activities. Combine the information so when we train employees we address food safety and health and safety. Expecting people to look in two places for information on how to do their jobs is asking for failure. Better still combine this information on a checklist they have to complete for that activity and then the procedure is always with them,

5 Checklists

You will find duplication of record keeping. Check out the forklift checklist. Guaranteed there is one for health and safety and one for food safety. Why I ask you with tears in my eyes? There is no good reason. Combine the information, agree on who is responsible for filing and safekeeping and make sure this person is involved with food safety and health and safety audits.


While you are at it, combine internal audits so you only audit the department once. There are hosts of ways of making your systems more efficient and keeping things interesting.

Go on – be brave – integrate!