Plan, Do, Check, Act

The Plan, Do, Check, Act approach achieves a balance between the systems and behavioural aspects of management. It also treats health and safety management as an integral part of good management generally, rather than as a stand-alone system.


  • Think about where you are now and where you need to be
  • Say what you want to achieve, who will be responsible for what, how you will achieve your aims, and how you will measure your success. You may need to write down this policy and your plan to deliver it
  • Decide how you will measure performance. Think about ways to do this that go beyond looking at accident figures – look for leading as well as lagging indicators. These are also called active and reactive indicators
  • Consider fire and other emergencies. Co-operate with anyone who shares your workplace and co-ordinate plans with them
  • Remember to plan for changes and identify any specific legal requirements that apply to you



  • Identify your risk profile
    • Assess the risks, identify what could cause harm in the workplace, who it could harm and how, and what you will do to manage the risk
    • Decide what the priorities are and identify the biggest risks
  • Organise your activities to deliver your plans
    In particular, aim to:

    • Involve workers and communicate, so that everyone is clear on what is needed and can discuss issues – develop positive attitudes and behaviours
    • Provide adequate resources, including competent advice where needed
  • Implement your plan
    • Decide on the preventive and protective measures needed and put them in place
    • Provide the right tools and equipment to do the job and keep them maintained
    • Train and instruct, to ensure everyone is competent to carry out their work
    • Supervise to make sure that arrangements are followed



  • Measure your performance
    • Make sure that your plans have been implemented, ‘paperwork’ on its own is not a good performance measure
    • Assess how well the risks are being controlled and if you are achieving your aims. In some circumstances formal audits may be useful
  •  Investigate the causes of accidents, incidents or near misses



  • Review your performance
    • Learn from accidents and incidents, ill-health data, errors and relevant experience, including from other organisations
    • Revisit plans, policy documents and risk assessments to see if they need updating
  • Take action on lessons learned, including from audit and inspection reports

Back to Risk Assessment