10 Points Every Safety Program Should Address
Although each safety program should be tailored to the specific needs of the company, there are key points that every safety program should address. It doesn't matter if you're working on an offshore rig or in an office building, your safety program should incorporate the following components:
1. Management Support and Supervision. This is vital to the success of any safety program. If safety is to become part of the corporate culture, it must begin with management. No plan can be properly implemented if managers do not support it. They must agree on all aspects of the plan and convey high safety expectations to employees.
2. Responsibility. Communicate the level of responsibility to each employee and commit any resources needed. There should be no ambiguity. Employees' written job descriptions need to include safety responsibilities. Supervisors should discuss performance-oriented safety measures with each employee.
3. Inspections. Train employees to do self-inspections of their work environment directed toward specific items and exposures common to the position. Periodic checks by management as well as other employees should also be established. Inspections should be fact-finding, not fault-finding.
4. Incident Analysis. When an accident does occur, supervisors should thoroughly investigate to identify the cause and correct any exposures to prevent reoccurrence. Management should discuss the findings with employees.
5. Safety Rules. Work with key employees to develop concise safety performance expectations that can be measured against specific company goals. Then, communicate safety expectations and goals to all employees. Be sure to update these expectations and goals periodically. Again, it is critical that these goals be measurable.
6. Safety Meetings. Supervisors should hold safety meetings on a regular basis with employees, discussing safety performance expectations and goals that were developed. These meetings should be performance-oriented.
7. Training. Establish a formal program for training new and existing employees. Also, train supervisors and managers on conducting safety meetings and inspections.
8. Record keeping. Keep records of all safety events, training courses, inspections and accident investigations. Depending on your business, you may be required to keep formal OSHA records and logs.
9. First Aid. Make sure you have an employee trained in first aid available on every job site and shift. Training is determined by the type of injuries likely to occur.
10. Emergency Preparedness. Management should develop an emergency preparedness plan to ensure the safety of all employees and visitors in the event of an emergency. This plan should be communicated to employees. You should also train employees on emergency and evacuation techniques. Employers should update their safety programs periodically to reflect any changes in operations as well as changes regarding standards and codes.