Issue: Your company does not have a formal safety and health program, and you'd like to get one started. What are some steps you can take to create a program aimed at preventing injuries and illnesses in the workplace?
Answer: Implementing a complete safety and health program takes time. As part of its "Safe + Sound" campaign, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) shared 10 simple steps employers can take to get started. Completing these steps will provide a solid base for more structured actions in the future.
1. Establish safety and health as a core value. Tell your workers that making sure they finish the day and go home safely is the way you do business. Assure them that you will work with them to find and fix any hazards that could injure them or make them sick.
2. Lead by example. Practice safe behaviors yourself and make safety part of your daily conversations with workers.
3 Implement a reporting system. Develop and communicate a simple procedure for workers to report any injuries, illnesses, incidents (e.g., near misses/close calls), hazards, or safety and health concerns without fear of retaliation. Include an option for reporting hazards or concerns anonymously.
4. Provide training. Train workers on how to identify and control hazards in the workplace, as well as report injuries, illnesses, and near misses.
5. Conduct inspections. Inspect the workplace with workers and ask them to identify any activity, piece of equipment, or materials that concern them. Use checklists to help identify problems.
6. Collect hazard control ideas. Ask workers for ideas on improvements and follow up on their suggestions. Provide them time during work hours, if necessary, to research solutions.
7. Implement hazard controls. Assign workers the task of choosing, implementing, and evaluating the solutions they come up with.
8. Address emergencies. Identify foreseeable emergency scenarios and develop instructions on what to do in each case. Meet to discuss these procedures and post them in a visible location in the workplace.
9. Seek input on workplace changes. Before making significant changes to the workplace, work organization, equipment, or materials, consult with workers to identify potential safety or health issues.
10. Make improvements to the program. Set aside a regular time to discuss safety and health issues, with the goal of identifying ways to improve the program.
Source: 10 Ways to Get Your Program Started, issued May 2021
From WCI's HR Answers Now ©2021 CCH Incorporated and its affiliates. All rights reserved.
Tags: Employers' Blog Posts