By Mr. Gary Hanson, President of American Safety & Health Management Consultants, Inc.

In 1996 the Division of Safety & Hygiene mandated that each association sponsoring a Group Rating Program, promote and encourage their group members to implement the Nine Key Safety Program Parameters. These have been reviewed in the past, but it is time to take a look at these program parameters again. These Nine Program Parameters have proven successful for many companies and provide a general guide for helping companies implement and manage an effective Safety Program. However, for these to be effective they must be a part of an ongoing continuous effort.

Step 1 – Written Safety Policy Statement
Step 2 – Visible Senior Management Leadership
Step 3 – Employee Involvement and Recognition
Step 4 – A Program of Ongoing Communications
Step 5 – Orientation & Training
Step 6 – Safety Program Coordination
Step 7 – Written Safety Policies
Step 8 – Medical Treatment or Return to Work
Step 9 – Annual Program Evaluation & Assessment

Step 1 – Written Safety Policy Statement
This should be put on the company’s letterhead and signed by the President or Chief Executive Officer and posted for all employees to read. It should reflect the company’s commitment to the Safety Program.

Step 2 – Visible Senior Management Leadership
Safety starts at the top and senior management should take an active role in supporting and promoting the company’s Safety Program. Safety should be established as a Key Core Management Value.

Step 3 – Employee Involvement and Recognition
All employees should be encouraged to actively participate in the company’s Safety Program. Ideas and recommendations from employees should be encouraged that will help improve the overall Safety Program. Employees with good safety records should be recognized and rewarded. Every body likes to be recognized and the benefits are well worth the cost.

Step 4 – A Program of Ongoing Communication
Every company should promote their Safety Program on a continuous basis. Employees want to know how the company is doing. Post your safety performance monthly. Also keep employees up to date on other changes and updates in your company’s safety efforts.

Step 5 – Orientation and Training
No company can have an effective Safety Program without a good Training Program. All new employees should be trained in the following: General Safety Policies, Job Specific Areas and OSHA Mandated Programs. Ongoing refresher classes should be held on a regular basis to reinforce your Safety Program.

Step 6 – Safety Program Coordinator
Each company should select an individual to oversee the Safety Program. This individual should have good communication skills, believe in the importance of the program and receive the necessary training required. Also, this individual should receive the necessary support to carry out his/her duties.

Step 7 – Written Safety Policies
Every Safety Program has to have a solid foundation. Written Safety Policies and Procedures provide that foundation. A detailed written Policy Manual can make the job a lot easier.

Step 8 – Medical Treatment and Return to Work
Although the vast percentage of accidents can be prevented there is always the possibility that someone will be injured. In this case internal first aid supplies should be available and up to date. In cases involving more serious injuries local medical facilities should be used to provide the necessary treatment for injured employees. A policy to return employees to work, Transitional Duty, should be established. This will save the company money and get good employees back to productive work quickly.

Step 9 – Program Evaluation and Assessment
The Safety Program like every other program should be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Updates and improvements should be made as necessary. Do not let the program’s effectiveness diminish. Follow up, follow up and follow up. Remember Safety is an ongoing effort.

In future articles I will go into more detail on each of the above Key Parameters. If you have not reviewed these lately, please take the time to review the articles in detail and review how well your company is doing in implementing each of these important elements. If you have any questions or need any assistance with your Safety Program, please give me a call at 1-800-356-1274.

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