depend on the credibility of management's involvement in the safety
program; inclusion of employees in safety and
health decisions; rigorous
worksite analysis to identify existing safety hazards and potential
Why Have Written Safety Programs?
OSHA has concluded that effective written
safety programs, accident prevention plans as well as management of worker safety and health
protection is a decisive factor in reducing the extent and the severity of
work-related injuries and illnesses.
Measuring the results of
workplace safety programs and health changes benefits employers and employees because
both gain confidence that the change results in a safer workplace. Since
most changes occur by trial and error or in stages, information about the
effectiveness of each stage is naturally helpful to the process. These
changes often result in increased productivity and demonstrate that employee
safety programs and health can be a good investment.
One of the most important roles
of managers is to send their employees home in as good a condition as when
they arrived at work; free from injuries or illnesses due to work related
In 1970 Congress created the Occupational Safety
Heath Administration (OSHA) under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
President Richard M Nixon signed the act into effect on December 29, 1970.
OSHA's mission is to ensure safe and healthful workplaces in America. Penalties for
non-compliance can range from $0 to $200,000, depending on the probability of
the violation resulting in serious harm to workers. If a company is charged
with repeat or willful violations, the penalties and fines can be even
stiffer. Effective safety programs including an accident prevention plan help ensure compliance with the law.
In addition to ensuring a safer workplace, an
effective safety program and accident prevention plans can decrease workplace injuries and illnesses, reduce
lost time, increase compliance with the law and lower insurance costs.
Effective safety programs can also help build employee morale, commitment and
Effective safety programs and
accident prevention plans can also help improve a
company’s public image. Public perception is extremely important in today’s
workplace. No company can afford to be perceived as unsafe, and companies
have responsibilities to their employees as well as responsibilities to the
community and to society as a whole. Effective safety programs and
accident prevention plans help ensure
that a company maintains a reputation for good stewardship.
Having a company that is recognized for its good
safety performance can also help in recruiting and retaining highly skilled
and talented individuals. Bottom line, in today’s competitive environment,
no company can afford an unsafe workplace.
Basic components of a comprehensive safety
program and accident prevention plan includes such things as:
Clearly established safety program goals and objectives
Implementation plans with actions, responsibilities, and timeframes
Written safety policies and safety procedures
Ongoing communications, education/training, and safety meetings
Workplace/job hazard safety analysis process
Employment/job related medical requirements
Effective safety performance measures
On-going evaluations, safety audits, and job
Corrective action process for identified
Documentation and recordkeeping
Employee assistance program
Employee involvement/a workforce that owns its safety program
More detailed information and topic
written safety programs are in the Members Area