14 Elements of a Successful Safety & Health Program

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14 ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL SAFETY & HEALTH PROGRAM

Element 1: Hazard Recognition, Evaluation and Control. Establishing and maintaining safe and healthful conditions required indenifing hazards, evaluating their pontential effects, developing ways to eliminate or control them and planning action priorities.This process is the essence of successful safety and health management.

Element 2:Workplace Design and Engineering Safety and health issues are most easily and economically addressed when facilities, processes and equipment are being designed. Organizations must incorporate safety into workplace design, production processes and selection.They also need to evaluate and modify or replace exisiting processes, equipment and facilities to make them safer. We explore how the design and function of the workplace can complement safety and health goals, minimize exposure to hazards and promote safe practices.

Element 3: Safety Performance Management As in all areas of operations, standards must be set for safety performance. They should reflect applicable regulatory requirements, additional voluntary guidelines and best business practices. We describe how managers, supervisors and employees can be made responsible and held accountable for meeting standards within their control. We look at how job performance appraisals can reflect performance in safety and health, as well as in other areas.

Element 4: Regulatory Compliance Management The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and state safety and health agencies establish and enforce safety and health regulations.Other agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, also issue and enforce regulations relating to safety and health in the United States. We discuss key aspects of international regulations in the European Union, Canada and Mexico. Staying informed about and complying with regulations are essential goals of safety and health programs.We also look briefly at conducting regulatory compliance inspections.

Element 5: Occupational Health Occupational health programs range from the simple to the complex. At a minimun, such programs address the immediate needs of injured or ill employees by providing first aid and response to emergencies.

More elaborate medical services may incude medical surveillance programs and provision for an in-house medical capability. In addition, some companies are beginning to focus on off-the-job safety and health through employee wellness and similar programs.

ELEMENT 6: Information Collection Safety and health activities, including inspections, record keeping, industrial hygine surveys and other occupational health assessments, injury/illness/incident investigations and performance reviews, produce a large quantity of data. Safety and health professionals must collect and analyze this data. Small incidents often provide early warning of more serious safety or health problems. Complete and accurate records can be used to identify hazards, measure safety performance and improvement, and through analyses, help identify patterns.

ELEMENT 7: Employee Involvement Design and engineering controls are limited in their ability to reduce hazards. Companies now understand that their real assets are people, not machinery, and they also realize that employees must recognize their stake in a safe and healthful workplace. As employees become more involved in planning, implementation and improvement, they see the need for safer work practices. Solutions to safety and health problems often come from affected employees. We look at how employees can contribute to safety and health objectives through safety committees and teams.

ELEMENT 8: Motivation, Behavior, and Attitudes Movtivation aims at changing behavior and attitudes to create a safer, healthier workplace. This elements describe two general approches organizations use to motivate employees and stresses the...
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