A Written Workplace Safety Program is a management approach for identifying, analyzing, and controlling workplace safety and health issues. This includes developing systematic policies, and practices in creating and maintaining a safe and healthy working environment. The implementation of a written safety plan is a proven and effective method for reducing the number of accidents and injuries among your employees.
Controlling injuries can save your company money in employer’s compensation costs, decrease employee time away from work, and help improve employee productivity and morale.
- Where and How to Start
First, you will need to develop a safety policy statement. Your safety policy statement must contain short and concise statements each employee can recite. It must explain the goals and objectives of your safety and health program, reinforce the principle that safety is everyone’s responsibility and be signed by the most senior officer in the organization.
- Commitments of the Management
Commitment’s of the management in writing the written workplace safety program include, management involvement, communicating responsibility, and resources to responsible parties and holding those parties responsible. In addition, management needs to make sure that employers are encouraged to report hazards, injuries, illness and symptoms and that there aren’t any programs or policies discouraging this report.
- Division of Responsibilities
Your workplace safety program must explain how the responsibilities for safety and health have been assigned to managers, supervisors, employees, and any other entities (such as safety committees) in your organization. Clear assignments of responsibility will allow each employee, supervisor, and manager to know what activities and behaviors are expected. What employees, supervisors and managers are held accountable for is what normally gets accomplished in your operation. Be as specific as you can and then hold them to it. Use this as part of your performance appraisal process to evaluate employee effectiveness. Assess your current business activities, positions, and responsibilities. Make a list of all employees, showing date of hire, job description, and what experience and training each might have.
Check Out: Establishing a Safety Committee
- Hazard Identification
Your written safety program must explain how you intend to identify, analyze, and control existing, new or potential hazards at your organization. This should include: regular inspections of your facilities, and analysis of hazard operations, carrying out workplace accident investigations, injury trend analysis, and taking action to eliminate future injuries. Be more specific and delegate who will be completing each activity, when they are to complete the activity, and how this will be evaluated for effectiveness.
Check Out: How to Conduct a Job Hazard Analysis
- Hazard Analysis
Analyzing your hazards is an important step in reducing the potential for accidents, as it will help you use your resources more effectively when you begin to correct them. Once your hazards and potential hazards have been identified, you will need to list the methods you intend to use to analyze them. Each of these components should be evaluated independently. Once this has been done, you can combine the two components to determine the gravity of each hazard.
Check Out: PPE Hazard Assessment and Certification
- Hazard Control
Now that the hazards have been identified and categorized, it is time to avoid them. If possible, eliminate the hazard(s) completely. If not, you must control the hazard(s) by using one or more of the following: Engineering Controls: Barricades, and ventilation systems. Administrative Controls: changing work schedules, or assignments. Generally, to manage hazards the workers will have to be trained in hazard recognition and how to reduce their exposure. Some examples of Administrative and Procedural Controls include Hazard communication programs and Lock-out/tag-out procedures. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as eye protectors, hand protectors, and respirators. Personal Protective Equipment should always be used as a final option. Solutions should be sought in engineering or administrative controls first.
Check Out: What Is the Hierarchy of Control?
- Accomplishing Hazard Identification
Hazard identification shall be accomplished using the following means: Safety/health inspections, employee safety hotline, reports of safety monitors, and review of records. Department supervisors will conduct inspections in their departments quarterly on the first Friday during the months of February, May, August, and November. Hazards reported through the employee safety hotline will be sent to the corresponding department supervisors. The hotline information will not have employees’ names. The goal is to learn what the hazards are and correcting them. No one will take any unfavorable action against anyone for identifying a hazard. The reports of the safety monitors will be sent to the safety committee and the plant manager. The safety manager will evaluate the hazard bulletins and provide them to the department supervisors to be addressed at the next department meeting.
8: Role of the Safety Managers
The safety manager will coordinate the hazard analysis effort. The safety manager will review accident investigation reports to identify the need to improve training, evaluate if corrective action has been addressed, and determine that action has been taken to reduce injuries. Any problems identified may indicate a need to address the system, processes, and controls. The safety manager will communicate results of the area and personal sampling to the employees and supervisors. The supervisors must correct problems resulting in levels discovered that are beyond acceptable limits. Any sort of necessary action out of the supervisor’s control will be directed to the plant manager and safety committee. Department supervisors will conduct a job hazard analysis at least annually for each job classification in their departments and ensure they are updated. This includes a hazard assessment for personal protective equipment (PPE). The safety manager and safety committee will evaluate accident trends from the policyholder statements and OSHA Injury and Illness log while ensuring the appropriate confidentiality. They will notify and work with the department managers to evaluate solutions and implement procedures or controls to reduce future injuries.
- Accomplishing Control
After a hazard has been analyzed, it must be given priority based on its overall gravity. Hazards will then be controlled as any hazard that can be eliminated. All other hazards will be controlled by using engineering or administrative controls or a combination of these as appropriate. The supervisors must correct hazards within their control and ensure the remaining hazards are passed to the plant manager and safety committee for action. The safety committee and plant manager will evaluate and implement controls for the hazards. Administrative and work practice controls for hazards will be either designated as a separate program or part of our procedures.
- Safety Procedures
The safety manager will monitor the progress of all abatement procedures and ensure that all affected employees are apprised of the status. The safety manager will coordinate safety communication to vendors and subcontractors working within the plant. The safety manager will provide the company president with the status of implemented controls, needed controls based on hazards, injuries and regulations.
Once the workplace safety program is been prepared after thorough analysis, training programs need to be established. Items to train your employees on include your safety program, their rights; compulsory training based on the OSHA regulations. Your written safety program must include an explanation of your training policy and procedures. This should include who will conduct the training, how often training will be completed, a list of the training required for your activities, how the training lesson plan will be maintained, and how the training records will be maintained. Providing training to your staff and employees is a crucial part of having an effective safety and health program.
In fact it may be the most crucial element. After all, a well-trained employee can be a much safer and more productive employee.