Setting up a workplace safety and health program
Looking for some quick recommendations for setting up a workplace safety and health program? OSHA has 10 steps:
- Establish safety and health as a core value of your organization. Convey to your workers that starting and finishing their day safely is the way you want to do business. Let them know you intend to work with them to find and fix any hazards that could result in injury or illness.
- Lead by example. Model safe behaviors and make safety part of your daily conversations with workers.
- Create a reporting system. Develop and communicate a process for workers to report injuries, illnesses, near misses, hazards, or safety and health concerns without fear of retaliation. Include an option for anonymous reporting.
- Train your workers. Teach workers how to identify and control workplace hazards.
- Conduct inspections. Walk through the workplace with staff and ask them to identify any activity, piece of equipment or materials that concern them. Use checklists to help identify problems.
- Collect hazard control ideas. Ask workers for ideas on how to make workplace improvements and then follow up on their suggestions. Give them time during business hours, if possible, to research solutions.
- Implement hazard controls. Assign workers the task of choosing, implementing and evaluating the solutions they suggest.
- Plan for emergencies. Identify possible emergency scenarios and develop instructions on how to react in each case. Discuss these procedures during employee meetings and post them in a visible location in the workplace.
- Seek input on changes. Before you make big changes to the workplace, consult with workers to identify potential safety or health issues.
- Make improvements to your program. Set aside a regular time to discuss safety and health issues, with the goal of identifying ways to improve the program.