Column 1: Sequence of job steps (what to do in the right order). List the steps for completing the task in a clear and logical sequence. Most importantly involve the person doing the task in the development of the SSOW, this promotes ownership and increases the likelihood of it being followed.
Column 2: Potential hazards/risks of each step. Detail the hazards which have been identified through the risk assessment process. Pictograms can be used to raise awareness of the hazards.
Column 3: Safe System of Work (how to do it). When writing instructions look to begin them with words such as ‘must’ and ‘always’ and describe things to do rather than things not to do. The use of words such as ‘avoid’ and ‘should’ make instructions sound more like advice and can result in ambiguity and indecision. It is good practice to provide each instruction with a visual image, they are worth a thousand words and keep the person being trained fully engaged.
Column 4: Personal Protective Equipment. Where identified within the SSOW confirm the type of PPE to be used, again this can be supported with pictograms.