EHS Management

Essential Elements for a Successful Safety Survey

If you’re considering conducting a survey to assess your safety and health management system, make sure you cover the basics. Check out this list of key elements to address in your safety survey.

In addition to assessing your process and programs, develop company- or site-specific questions that capture management and employee perceptions of your process, and of their own safety at work. Enlist your safety committee to develop and analyze your survey.

Michigan OSHA recommends that surveys address the following:

Top management commitment

  • A written policy that sets a high priority for safety and health exists.
  • A written safety and health goal and support objectives exist.
  • The workplace safety and health policy is supported by management.
  • Goals and objectives are supported by management.
  • Managers personally follow safety and health rules.
  • Managers participate in the safety and health training of employees
  • Safety tasks are specifically assigned to a person or position.
  • Assignments are clearly communicated and include accountability mechanisms.
  • Individuals with assigned safety and health duties have the authority and resource to perform their duties.

Employee involvement

  • There is a process to involve employees in safety and health issues.
  • Employees believe that the process is effective.
  • Employees use the hazard reporting system.
  • Injury/illness data are reported to employees.
  • Hazard control procedures are communicated to potentially affected employees.

Safety and health training

  • An organized OSH training program exists.
  • Employee training covers workplace hazards, your safety and health management system, and mandated topics.
  • Employees demonstrate understanding of safety and health policy, rules, and procedures.
  • Employees periodically practice implementation of emergency plans.
  • Supervisors and managers are trained on standards and hazards, preventive measures, and controls.

Hazard prevention and control

  • A comprehensive baseline hazard survey has been conducted within the past five years.
  • Effective job hazard analysis is performed.
  • Change analysis is performed when facilities, equipment, materials, or process change.
  • Effective engineering and administrative controls are in place, as needed.
  • PPE is effectively used as needed.
  • Emergency equipment is well maintained.
  • Housekeeping is efficiently performed.
  • The organization is prepared for emergency situations.
  • An early return-to-work program is in place.

Worksite analysis

  • Incidents/accidents are investigated for root cause.
  • Investigations are concluded to improve systems, not to find fault.
  • Investigators are trained in procedures and root cause analysis.
  • Analysis involves all interested parties.
  • Workplace injury/illness data are effectively analyzed.
  • Hazard controls are monitored to assure continued effectiveness.
  • A review of mandated programs is conducted at least annually.
  • A review of overall safety and health management systems is conducted at least annually.