Special Topics in Safety Management

Are You Communicating for Maximum Value?

How well are you communicating safety? Benchmark these recommendations against your performance and share them with frontline supervisors.

Establish a clear-cut, easy, nonthreatening method for employees to make safety suggestions or register safety concerns. This could be a dedicated Web page, a traditional suggestion box, or a mail slot in your office.
Act promptly on all safety suggestions and respectfully inform those who submit them of your actions—whether or not you accept a suggestion. A lack of response sets the stage for workers to be disappointed and conclude that management doesn’t care. If you do not implement an idea, thank the employee and offer a detailed explanation of your actions.
Be mindful of how your give employees instructions.

  • Explain clearly what you want someone to do and, if possible, demonstrate the correct, safe way to do it.Ask the worker to repeat the instructions back to you so that you can confirm that the employee has understood correctly.
  • Ask the employee if he or she sees any way to improve on the instructions or on how the task is done.
  • Discuss possible changes and agree on a final procedure.
    If possible, ask the worker to demonstrate the correct final procedure.
    Write down the agreed-upon steps and make changes to any previous written procedures.
  • Do not reward unsafe behavior. If rules are broken, consequences should be fairly and consistently administered.

What will OSHA’s priorities for 2014 be, and how might they affect you? Find out in BLR’s upcoming live webinar, which will help you prepare for
compliance in the year head. And you don’t even have to leave your office to participate! Click here for details.


Remember those magical words. A simple “thank you” is one of the most powerful safety communication tools at your disposal. Depending on your workplace, a written note from the safety director or even from the owner or CEO can go a long way to showing you care and encouraging safe behaviors.
Get help and get creative. Ask your safety committee to consider putting safety communications on the agenda. Consider holding a competition for the best safety poster, slogan, or video. Publicize the winner and use the winning submission in your materials and on your safety site. Solicit blog posts for your company newsletter on “Why I work safely.”
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Find out what’s worked for other businesses inside and outside of your industry. Ask safety colleagues for successful communication ideas. Assign an intern the task of collecting good ideas from other companies or sites and assessing which may be a good fit for your organization.
Consider a kiosk. Some businesses have a safety communication kiosk on the plant floor or in the break room. This can be a simple table and bulletin board or a more sophisticated electronic setup where employees can make safety suggestions, read about new rules and near misses, get training updates, and read the latest safety bulletin or newsletter.


Join us on January 2 for an in-depth webinar when our presenter, a seasoned safety lawyer who has helped many companies assess OSHA activities and initiatives, will help you get a clearer sense of what will unfold in 2014 and, importantly, how to prepare. Learn More.


Safety Success Requires Listening, Too

This year and every year, having successful, compliant safety programs depends not only on communicating well with employees but also listening to safety experts to find out what OSHA’s priorities are and how they will affect you and your worksite.

We have a live webinar lined up for January 2 in which our expert, a lawyer and safety professional recognized as a national expert on occupational safety and health, will help you start the new year off right and learn what you need to know about OSHA’s 2014 enforcement agenda.

OSHA can’t inspect all 7 million workplaces under its jurisdiction. Consequently, each year the agency seeks to refocus its inspection resources in a calculated manner.

For 2014, OSHA projects that fewer employers will be inspected for safety violations so that inspectors can undertake more comprehensive investigations. The most likely targets will be refineries, chemical plants, and establishments where employees are vulnerable to workplace violence.

2014 priorities will also include:

  • Regulatory and outreach activities, such as improving workplace safety and health by targeting the worst violators and most serious hazards
  • Greater emphasis on health hazards, including exposure to hazardous chemicals, regulatory safeguards to eliminate or reduce hazards with the broadest and most serious consequences as identified through rigorous scientific investigation, compliance assistance, and outreach to workers at greater risk—such as those with limited English proficiency and temporary workers
    Technical and compliance assistance to small businesses in high-hazard industries, are ambitious

How 2014 will actually unfold is still uncertain, but now is the time to get a sense of what to expect and when to expect it so you can gear up for compliance hurdles.

Join us for an in-depth webinar on January 2 when our presenter, a seasoned safety lawyer who has helped many companies assess OSHA activities and initiatives, will help you get a clearer sense of what will unfold in 2014 and, importantly, how to prepare.

You and your colleagues will learn:

  • How key 2013 activities will impact 2014 compliance

  • Key enforcement strategies that OSHA plans to take on for 2014 including targeted industries
  • The likely regulatory actions coming soon and the time lines involved
  • Various initiatives that have been announced including outreach programs and assistance to small businesses in high hazard industries
  • What personal or structural changes may occur within OSHA
  • Suggested strategies for participating in key regulatory activity
  • The role Congress and the executive branch may play in 2014
  • The significant activity that may occur by special interest groups, NGOs, and labor unions
  • Ways to identify and evaluate OSHA activities to be “one step ahead” of new requirements

About Your Presenter

Adele Abrams, Esq., CMSP, is an attorney and safety professional who is recognized as a national expert on occupational safety and health. She heads a 10-attorney firm that represents employers and contractors nationwide in OSHA and MSHA litigation, and provides safety and health training, auditing, and consultation services.

Abrams is a Certified Mine Safety Professional, and a Department of Labor-approved trainer. She is also a professional member of the American Society of Safety Engineers, and is co-author of several safety-related textbooks. She is chair of the National Safety Council’s Business & Industry Division committee on regulatory and legal affairs. She is admitted to the Bars of Maryland, D.C., and Pennsylvania, as well as multiple federal courts including the U.S. Supreme Court.

How Do Webinars Work?

A webinar is remarkably cost-effective and convenient. You participate from your office, using a regular telephone and a computer with an Internet connection. You have no travel costs and no out-of-office time.

Plus, for one low price, you can get as many people in your office to participate as you can fit around a speakerphone and a computer screen.

Because the conference is live, you can ask the speakers questions—either on the phone or via the webinar interface.

You will receive access instructions via e-mail three days before the event and the morning of the event. Your conference materials will be included in these emails for you to view, print, and download prior to the event. They are also available on the webinar interface when you log in.

If you are ordering online the morning of the webinar please call our Customer Service Department at 1-800-727-5257 to be sure to get your access instructions and handout materials.