- Create a safety statement.Provide a clear statement of policy, mission, goals and objectives. Having these items in writing will help you evaluate the program and measure its success.
- Follow safety standards.OSHA, DOT, FDA and EPA set standards that must be followed by all businesses. In addition, OSHA requires recordkeeping to report accidents and illness.
- Form a safety committee.Responsibility for measuring, improving and evaluating your program should rest with a competent and authorized safety committee. This committee should include representatives from various levels and departments in your business. Give authority to this group to make immediate changes to unsafe acts occurring in the workplace.
- Implement employee training.Develop a company safety and health manual, train new and existing employees, provide proper documentation and retrain employees as needed (such as when standards or codes have changed). New safety programs must be part of this training and performed in a timely manner.
- Keep it simple.Make your safety program user-friendly and readily available. With today’s technology, sharing safety policies and information is easier than ever before. Whether online or in hard-copy format, all employees should have easy access.
- Communicate support from management.Top management needs to demonstrate a commitment to the importance of safety and your company’s safety policies. Don’t expect your employees to observe safety rules you don’t enforce them.
- Perform safety audits.Hazard surveys are used to evaluate workplace safety issues associated with machinery, material and employees, along with at-risk behaviors. Once risks are evaluated, your safety committee should prioritize the worst hazards, dealing with them quickly. Once changes are implemented, the safety committee should perform follow-up surveys to ensure these corrections are adequate.
- Conduct loss analysis.Look to your insurance company to review claims from the previous three to five years and prepare an analysis that includes causes of loss. Your business can then implement changes to reduce the likelihood that accidents will reoccur.
- Introduce an accident investigation program.A solid accident investigation program includes training supervisors to perform investigations professionally and accurately. Effective accident investigations document what occurred, why and what has been done to prevent a recurrence. In addition, reports need to show when the hazard was corrected and by whom.
Ask your independent insurance agent about risk control and how your insurance company can assist you in developing or updating a safety program at your place of business.
Dave White, manager with risk services at Westfield Insurance, can be reached at (330) 887-0354 or email@example.com. In business for more than 157 years, Westfield Insurance provides commercial and personal insurance services to customers in 17 states. Represented by leading independent insurance agencies, the product we offer is peace of mind and our promise of protection is supported by a commitment to service excellence. For more information, visit www.westfieldinsurance.com.