3 Parts of a Comprehensive Safety Program
As we mentioned in our last post, it's Safe + Sound Week. This program from OSHA is designed to inspire more facilities and worksites to make safety a priority, providing the resources for developing a comprehensive safety program. In this post, we'll explore the three pillars of this program.
#1. Management Leadership
If you want to put safety first, last, and always, it's got to start at the top. From appointing the right people into safety roles to ensuring budgets accommodate safety gear, training, and improvements, a safety-first culture depends on active support from management. An organization's leadership should be instrumental in developing a comprehensive safety program. When a company demonstrates a commitment to the safety of its workers, employees understand that it's more than a program—it's a way of working and living. Here are some ways that a leadership team can lead by example:
- Create and communicate a safety program
- Provide resources to implement and maintain the program
- Factor safety into planning and decision-making
- Recognize and reward safety-related contributions and achievements
- Follow all safety standards all the time, every time
#2. Worker Participation
When it comes to safety, don't overlook your most valuable resource—your workers. Who better knows the hazards lurking in the workplace than the people who work in each environment? Effective safety programs draw on the knowledge, experience, and insight of employees. Not only does this ensure that an organization’s program is complete, but it also activates and empowers staff. Here are some ways to ensure the workforce is invested in a safety program:
- Invite participation into the program design, implementation, and evaluation
- Encourage incident reporting and provide anonymous options
- Analyze hazards associated with all jobs, tasks, and processes
- Define and document safe practices
- Conduct inspections and investigate reported incidents
- Provide training for current employees and new hires
- Evaluate performance and identify ways to improve the program
#3. Find and Fix Hazards
A comprehensive safety program must involve systems for identifying, addressing, and controlling active and potential hazards. And, while being reactive is important, reaction shouldn’t be the only mechanism for dealing with situations and making improvements. Put another way, a company shouldn’t wait for someone to get injured (or a near-miss) to take appropriate action. Organizations should take a systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards to prevent illnesses, injuries, and death. A systematic find-and-fix approach should:
- Involve workers and solicit insight into work conditions
- Incorporate all available information about potential hazards
- Include regular inspections to note new hazards
- Demand root-cause investigations of incidents and identify solutions
- Evaluate options with the "hierarchy of controls"
- Protect workers during emergencies
- Ensure that existing controls are intact and effective
Tap into OSHA Resources
Safe + Sound isn't just a week for OSHA; it's an entire campaign, complete with a suite of resources for parts one through three. On this website, you'll find guides, webinars, and more—the tools you need to get your comprehensive safety program up and running. A great starting point is performing an internal assessment of your facility or job site. Our Safety Check Workbook contains 13 checklists to help you get going.
Create Your Comprehensive Safety Program
Do you need help creating a safety-first culture? Our team of expert Safety Specialists is here to help. They know the ins and outs of the latest standards and guidelines as well as the latest product developments. Contact us today!