Fundamentals of a Safety Program

Fundamentals of a Safety Program

June 7, 2018 Business Insurance and Risk Management, The Beacon Blog 0 Comments

Every organization should have a safety program. It protects workers and improves performance. There is no “one size fits all” model, but the fundamentals should be adapted by all organizations regardless of their size or purpose.

This summary is adapted from -tips – as its name suggests, the details are intended for manufacturers but the principles can apply to everyone.

There are five basic steps in safety and health management:

  1. Management leadership and employee participation – each are equally important.
  2. Planning – here are four essential steps:
  • Collect and analyze relevant information (see end of this post for possible sources)
  • Prioritize issues
  • Develop objectives
  • Create a plan.

3. Implement and operate the program: create a reporting system, train employees, conduct regular inspections, put controls in place, plan for emergencies, get input.

4. Monitor, measure and assess performance through investigations, audits and periodic updates.

5. Management review at least annually.

Hazard identification through job hazard/safety analysis is an important part of a safety program. Begin by getting employees involved, reviewing incident records, listing jobs to be analyzed starting with the most dangerous. There are four steps in job analysis:

  1. Break the job down into steps.
  2. Identify and list hazards – safety, biological, chemical, ergonomic and/or social.
  3. Describe the hazards and their consequences.
  4. Create a plan to control each hazard, ranked by severity and frequency. There is a hierarchy of hazard controls: elimination, substitution, engineering, work practices and protective equipment. Multiple controls may be needed.

Safety training is a six step process:

  1. Design a training program.
  2. Develop effective training.
  3. Deliver the training.
  4. Evaluate training for effectiveness – employee feedback, tests, on-the-job observation, compare before and after metrics.
  5. Documentation and record keeping.
  6. Continuous improvement.

For more details, visit Other useful sources include OSHA, state agencies and industry-specific sites.



About the Author

Harry Cylinder

Harry Cylinder, CPCU, ARM has spent nearly fifty years in the insurance industry, the majority of the time as a consultant. He has been employed by The Beacon Group of Companies since 2008, specializing in the review and analysis of property and casualty coverage forms. Mr. Cylinder has been reviewing policy forms as they have evolved over the past decades. In 2008 he published an article in the CPCU Journal which was the first description of cyber insurance coverage for a general insurance audience. Since that time he has regularly written on cyber and other topics for The Beacon Companies’ blog.