Safety Policy and Defining Safety Roles and Responsibilities
A safety policy is a document that describes how an employer manages safety and how it fits into their operations. The policy should be suitable to the nature of risk associated with the business. A safety policy should consist of:
- A purpose statement outlining the business's safety and health philosophy
- Management, leadership and employee involvement
- Worksite Analysis and Hazard Prevention & Control
- Safety Training and Education
Proactive Safety Goals
Goals should be established by top management, to determine the level of performance and measure success. Proactive goals identify improvements, to help reduce the risk of injury to employees.
Considerations the for proactive safety goal setting process is to use SMART criteria and involve those responsible for achieving the goals.
S – Specific (What is the exact outcome of the goal?)
M – Measureable (How will the goal be measured?)
A – Achievable (Is the goal achievable?)
R – Realistic (Do the goals make good business sense?)
T – Time bound (What is the completion date for the goal?)
Examples of proactive safety goals
- One top management official participates in the monthly safety tour
- All supervisors complete one Job Safety Analysis (JSA) per quarter
- All accidents, injuries, and near misses are reported to the supervisor by the end of the shift. Note: While this goal is not measuring the number of incidents, it is setting the requirement reporting in a timely fashion
Safety and Health Resources
To implement a safety management system, employers must provide sufficient resources. Insufficient resources will cause safety performances to lag behind other business functions and place employees at risk of injury. The resources required to implement a safety management system include capital, budget items, and human capital.
Measuring Safety Performance
Safety performance is measured traditionally with lagging or after-the-fact measures; for example the number of injuries, lost time days, etc. A significant drawback in only measuring lagging indicators is that the safety performance measurement only uses injuries or failures that occurred in the past. The addition of leading indicator allows employers to monitor the safety processes and goals designed to keep the workplace safe. Measurement and analysis should be in place for all processes that produce a safer work environment to ensure continual improvement in safety.
Enforcement of Safety Rules, Policies, Procedures
Enforcement of safety requirements is essential to creating a safe work environment. There are several approaches to enforcing safety requirements, which include coaching and counseling.
Resource for Management Commitment
Apple Inc. - Environmental Health and Safety Policy Statement
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Guide to Writing an OHS Policy Statement
OSHA’s Voluntary Safety Program Management Guidelines
Practical OH&S Measurement Solutions for the 21st Century