Personnel Safety, Training

10 Ways to Kick Start Your Safety and Health Program

As part of its Safe + Sound campaign, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) shared a variety of resources aimed at helping businesses put together safety and health programs.

According to OSHA’s page devoted to the topic, safety and health programs help businesses do the following:

  • Prevent workplace injuries and illnesses
  • Improve compliance with laws and regulations
  • Reduce costs, such as lowering workers’ compensation premiums
  • Increase worker engagement
  • Boost social responsibility
  • Increase productivity

The page includes sections on management leadership, worker participation, and ways to find and fix hazards. Resources provided include brochures, posters, webinars, manuals, and videos.

One such poster highlights 10 ways to get a safety and health program started. The steps are:

  1. Establish safety and health as a core value: Tell workers that their safety is a major focus of the business. Make it clear that you will find and fix any hazards workers may face.
  2. Lead by example: As a leader, practice safe behaviors and make safety part of your daily conversations with employees.
  3. Implement a reporting system: Put together and communicate a simple way for workers to report injuries, illnesses, incidents such as near misses, hazards, or safety and health concerns without fear of retaliation. Include an option to report concerns anonymously.
  4. Provide training: Train employees on how to identify and control hazards in the workplace. Also train them to report injuries, illnesses, and near misses.
  5. Conduct inspections: Inspect the workplace and ask workers to identify any activity, equipment, or materials that concern them.
  6. Collect hazard control ideas: Solicit ideas for improvements from workers and follow up on their suggestions.
  7. Implement hazard controls: Give workers the task of choosing, implementing, and evaluating the solutions they suggest.
  8. Address emergencies: Identify potential emergency situations and develop instructions on how to respond to each case. Meet to discuss the procedures and post them in a visible location in the workplace.
  9. Seek input on workplace changes: Consult with workers to identify potential safety or health issues before making significant changes to the workplace, organization, equipment, or materials.
  10. Make improvements to the program: Set a regular time to discuss safety and health issues to come up with ways to improve the program.