Jan 23, 2014

Developing an Effective Safety and Health Management System

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The best Safety and Health Management Systems (S&HMS) involve every level of the organization, instilling a safety culture that reduces accidents for workers and improves the bottom line for managers. When safety and health are part of the organization and a way of life, everyone wins.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ll briefly address four common management questions below, and then take a closer look at specific implementation strategies for each.

#1. What Return on Investment can S&HMS programs provide?     

  • Improved employee morale
  • Decreased lost time
  • Fewer workplace injuries and illnesses
  • Lower insurance costs
  • Safety culture adoption

#2. How can safety and health become part of the way my business runs?

  • Combine performance standards with S&H standards
  • Talk the talk and walk the walk
  • Top down support
  • Bottom up implementation

#3. What indicators tell me if I'm getting weaker or stronger?

#4. What practices are best for assuring lasting success?

  • Obtain management buy-in
  • Build trust
  • Conduct self-assessments
  • Develop a site safety vision
  • Develop a system of accountability and measures
  • Implement recognition and rewards
  • Provide awareness training
  • Implement process changes
  • Continually measure, communicate results and celebrate successes

Critical Elements Of An Effective Safety And Health Management System

  • Employee Involvement
  • Worksite Analysis
  • Hazard Prevention and Control
  • Education for employees, supervisors and managers

Management Commitment And Employee Involvement

  • Develop and communicate a safety and health policy to all employees
  • Demonstrate management commitment by instilling accountability for safety and health, obeying safety rules and reviewing accident reports
  • Conduct regular safety and health meetings involving employees, managers and supervisors
  • Assign responsible person(s) to coordinate safety and health activities
  • Integrate safety and health into business practices (e.g., purchases, contracts, design and development)
  • Involve employees in safety and health related activities (e.g., self-inspections, accident investigations and developing safe practices)
  • Recognize employees for safe and healthful work practices

Worksite Analysis

  • Evaluate all workplace activities and processes for hazards
  • Reevaluate workplace activities whenever there are changes in processes, materials or machinery
  • Conduct on-site inspections, identify hazards and take corrective actions
  • Provide a hazard reporting system for employees to report unsafe and unhealthful conditions
  • Investigate all accidents and near misses to determine root causes

Hazard Prevention And Control

  • Eliminate and control workplace hazards (e.g., engineering controls, workstation design and work practices)
  • Establish a preventive maintenance program
  • Keep employees informed of safety and health activities and conditions
  • Plan for emergencies (e.g., create an evacuation plan, train employees and conduct fire drills)
  • Record and analyze occupational injuries and illnesses

Training For Employees, Supervisors And Managers

Read more tips about workplace safety on our blog.