Fundamentals of a Safety Program
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 https://www.convergencetraining.com/blog/maufacturing-safety-training -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:
- Management leadership and employee participation – each are equally important.
- 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:
- Break the job down into steps.
- Identify and list hazards – safety, biological, chemical, ergonomic and/or social.
- Describe the hazards and their consequences.
- 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:
- Design a training program.
- Develop effective training.
- Deliver the training.
- Evaluate training for effectiveness – employee feedback, tests, on-the-job observation, compare before and after metrics.
- Documentation and record keeping.
- Continuous improvement.
For more details, visit www.convegencetraining.com/blog. Other useful sources include OSHA, state agencies and industry-specific sites.