With more and more companies realizing the advantages of implementing safety management programs, now is the perfect time to either analyze your current program or to engage a safety management system for your company. Safety management systems reduce risk and liability while at the same time providing a comprehensive approach to safety that has the potential to introduce significant cost savings. There are five primary aspects or steps, to enabling the most effective and efficient safety management system for your company.
Step One: Shared Responsibilities
OSHA places work safety requirements on both employees and employers. Therefore, a proper safety system requires shared responsibilities for the implementation and maintenance of safety systems in the hands of both. This sharing of the safety responsibilities ensures not only compliance from a management perspective but also includes a self-enforcing concept among the employees. As long as both employee and employer share the responsibilities for safety, both parties benefit.
Step Two: Safety Programs and Policies
Safety Programs and policies have to be in place with specific intent and targeted purpose. While generic safety reminders are applicable in most situations, their frequency tends to result in long-term non-compliance concerns. By contrast, appropriate safety programs and policies that are aimed at specific applications serves to enhance the overall improvement towards safety and compliance. This must also include targeted inspections and continued commitment to responding to safety concerns that are reported to management.
Step Three: Risk Reduction-Understanding Priorities
As with safety programs and policies that are targeted to specific processes and applications, priorities have to be outlined and identified on a continual basis. The purpose is to set priorities for mitigating any risk or risk factors that can cause safety challenges. However, priorities that are identified should also be resolved quickly and efficiently to illustrate the commitment to said risk mitigation.
Step Four: Leadership and Management Commitment
All leadership elements must remain continually committed to the safety programs and policies, continually audit any risk reduction priorities and reward or encourage the shared responsibility of all the parties involved. Importantly, this commitment must be demonstrated in a non-cost related manner to prevent the perception that safety is solely based on cost motivation. Failure in this presentation only serves to encourage noncompliance and as such it will erode any leadership commitment. Leadership commitment is vital for any safety program, regardless of size.
Step Five: Safety Performance-Individual And Organizational
Once a safety management system is in place, safety performance for both the individual and organization must be timely, continually updated and reinforced while compliance is ensured with both enforcement and reward systems. Post implementation, the five steps transition to a compliance format with safety performance for all parties concerned providing the benchmark to both achieve and beat.
Safety management systems are a crucial component to your companies continual success. Only a properly implemented and managed safety system with shared responsibilities and continual analysis and updates will guarantee long phase compliance. All of which translates directly into risk mitigation and ultimately cost savings across your company. Additionally, the in company perception and the outward projection of a safety conscious atmosphere only serves to encourage the greater public perception of a quality, safe workspace.