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7 Fundamentals of an Effective Safety and Health Program

7 Fundamentals of an Effective Safety and Health Program

Effective health and safety practices accomplish much more than reducing the risk of illness and work-related injuries in the workplace. Employee morale and productivity is improved when employees are empowered with the training and tools they need to work in a safe environment. Not only that, a lower risk of injury means fewer workers’ compensation claims and expenses.

In 1989, OSHA issued four guidelines for the management and protection of employee health and safety in the workplace. These guidelines provide in-depth details on how an organization must perform its safety and health compliance responsibilities.
The four factors OSHA recommends are:

  • Management commitment and employee involvement
  • Worksite safety analysis
  • Hazard prevention and control
  • Safety and health training

OSHA breaks these four broad categories down further into 7 core elements.

1. Management Leadership
Meaningful change in the workplace often comes from the top. For employees to take health and safety practices seriously, upper management must be visibly committed to investing in Workplace Safety Training and continually developing health and safety programs. Management should make health and safety a core part of company culture and always lead by example.

2. Employee Participation
For health and safety practices to be effective in the workplace, employees should have a voice in the process, from the design to the implementation of safety procedures, and be able to fully demonstrate an understanding of their safety rights and responsibilities. Employees are most often familiar with workplace risks that upper management may overlook.

3. Hazard Identification and Assessment
There should be set procedures in place to conduct ongoing job hazard analysis (JHA) that identifies and evaluates risks before accidents occur. JHA should begin with a comprehensive baseline worksite analysis and continue with routine updates and surveys. Employees should actively participate in hazard identification and assessment and be provided with the means to alert supervisors about hazardous conditions.

4. Hazard Prevention and Control
When a hazardous workplace issue has been identified, management and employees must work together to decide on and implement the best methods for controlling, preventing, or eliminating the hazard.

5. Education and Training
Every employee, including management, should actively participate in Workplace Safety Training to gain a better understanding of how safety and health programs work and how to implement them effectively. Periodic surveys and questionnaires are a good way to evaluate how well employees understand health and safety practices in the workplace.

6. Program Evaluation and Improvement
There is always room for improvement when it comes to health and safety practices. Your program should include control measures to continually monitor workplace hazards and evaluate existing procedures for efficiency.

7. Management of Contractors / Staffed Employees
Efficient health and safety management in the workplace doesn’t only apply to your employees. Staffing agencies and contractors must agree to commit to your safety policies and provide the same level of safety for their own employees. Before contracting any outside work, make sure any outside potential contract is aware of your safety protocols to avoid any conflicts or misunderstandings.

You never want to be an organization that promotes safety protocols on paper only. Creating a written safety policy and implementing it efficiently are two different things. Impact Safety Inc. is a comprehensive safety source for businesses in all industries and fields looking to reduce risk, protect assets, and maintain OSHA safety certification to create a safe, compliant work environment. Let us help you make safety a top priority and build a lasting safety culture. Contact us today!

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