Key Elements of a Successful Safety & Health Program

Safety and health programs can substantially reduce the number and severity of workplace injuries and alleviate the associated financial burdens on businesses. Many states also have requirements or voluntary guidelines for workplace injury and illness prevention programs. According to OSHA, the best safety and health programs involve every level of the organization, instilling a safety culture that reduces accidents for workers and improves the bottom line for managers. With this in mind it is important to develop a safety and health program. Below you will find the four important elements of an effective safety and health management system as well as an e-tool to develop a comprehensive program.

1. Management Leadership and Employee Involvement Employers and employees should work together to make safety and health a priority. Employer and employee communication is essential. Some ways to achieve employer commitment and employee involvement include:

  • Post the company's written safety and health policy for all to see.

  • Involve employees in policy making on safety and health issues.

  • Take an active part in safety activities.

  • Hold meetings that focus on employee safety and health.

  • Abide by all safety and health rules.

  • Invest time, effort, and money in your safety and health program.

2. Worksite Analysis

Worksite analysis involves a variety of worksite examinations to identify not only existing hazards, but also conditions and operations in which changes might create hazards. Effective management actively analyzes the work and the worksite, to anticipate and prevent harmful occurrences.

3. Hazard Prevention and Control After detection, all current and potential hazards must be prevented, corrected or controlled. Systems used to prevent and control hazards include:

  • Engineering Controls

  • Safe Work Practices

  • Administrative Controls

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Systems to Track Hazard Correction

  • Preventive Maintenance Systems

  • Emergency Preparation

  • Medical Programs

4. Training Training can help to develop the knowledge and skills needed to understand workplace hazards and safe procedures. The content of a company’s training program and the methods of presentation should reflect the needs and characteristics of the particular workforce.