We’ve all done it: slipped into auto-mode when putting together OH&S documentation for a punter. Cut and paste, slam together a whole bunch of references, lots of assumptions that the reader will “get it’”.
And we’ve all probably seen one of those sets of OH&S documents for a safety management system that impresses only by its thickness. Packed with stock phrases that make us OH&S lot feel all comfy, but leave the punter scratching their head over what the hell we are on about and what it is they are actually expected to do.
I plead guilty to having done that occasionally. But it grates on me when I re-read something I’ve done from the past that has all those lazy characteristics that bad OH&S writing can drop into; particularly grating since I’ve becoming increasingly dismayed at the frustration punters have with OH&S and how it seems so impenetrable.
A few years ago I put together a guide on writing OH&S stuff (mostly focussing on guidance material). I’ve altered it a bit to fit all sorts of OH&S writing but it is available for download (and free) by clicking on the image on this post.
Feel free to use it. If you’re going to quote bits from it in your own stuff I just ask that I be acknowledged as the author.