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Safety Management Insights

How to Build a Safety Program in 8 Steps

Posted by Doug Shoemaker on Aug 6, 2019 5:54:32 PM
HubSpot Video

Step 1. Make a commitment to safety

Include safety in your company mission statement and involve the executives in setting safety related goals.

Document these goals so they can be measured and improved.

This change will help get a safety culture going and keep safety top of mind for the entire organization.

Step 2. Learn the requirements in place for your industry

Check out the resources made available by OSHA and talk to other professionals in the industry.

Sometimes it pays to bring in an outside consultant for your industry even if it is just a safety manager from another company like yours.

Document the requirements and advice so you can measure whether or not it gets taken care of.

Step 3. Identify hazards and risks

Anything with the potential to cause harm should be addressed.

Talk to your employees and assess your own workplace to learn the best places to implement changes.

Pay attention to; workplace hazards like shop layout, environmental hazards such as dust, hazardous activities such as using machinery, and finally the current culture of your company.

Document these along with the items from Step 2 so that these can also be addressed moving forward.

Step 4. Develop processes and programs

These processes and programs should be specifically tailored to answer the requirements and issues from Steps 2 and 3.

They should also hold both management and employees accountable to safety.

It is best to have them written and accessible to the employees and some even require a written program.

The regulations that require a written program are-

  • Hazard Communication Program.
  • Lockout / Tagout Program (energy control procedures).
  • Respiratory Protection Program.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (hazard assessment).
  • Bloodborne Pathogens Post-exposure Plan.
  • Emergency Actions Plans.
  • Permit-required Confined Spaces.
  • Electrical Safety.
  • Fire Prevention Plan.
  • Hearing Conservation Program.
  • Trenching and Excavation Safety.

These programs can be handled very easily in tools like those provided by BasicSafe.

Step 5. Educate your workforce

Make sure to cover the documents from Step 4 and any other relevant information.

A good rule of thumb is to train-

  • New hires
  • Individuals who recently transferred or changed assignments
  • Any time a new process, substance, or piece of equipment is added
  • Any time new hazards are identified
  • Any time refresher training is needed or required by regulations

Try to keep the training engaging and to track all training that takes place either in spreadsheets or training specific EHS tools.

Step 6. Investigate and track all accidents and incidents

Regardless of the severity, this will help you to prevent incidents in the future.

Determine the cause, identify what could be changes, take and track corrective and preventative measures.

Sometimes this means making changes to your previously developed documents and training.

Step 7. Review your program

Every year you should review your training, procedures, and any written safety documentation you have to find holes in your program or to improve it.

Go through a similar process as you just completed but probably on a smaller scale.

At this point it pays to have a good auditing tool to work through every aspect of your safety program.

Step 8. Implement an EHS management software

A good software should have tools to procedures, manuals, training, auditing, incidents, and more.

Doing so will make your life easier and save your company massive amounts of time and money related to safety.

Check out BasicSafe to fulfill all your safety and other EHS needs!

Don’t forget to leave us your thoughts in the comments and have a safe week!