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Basic Elements of Workplace Safety Programming


Workplace Management Responsibility for Accident Prevention

The cornerstone of any business activity – and especially workplace safety management activity and the prevention of accidents related to workplace environments and activities – is management. The success of workplace safety programming depends largely upon what top workplace management knows and thinks about safety, what they expect from their safety program, and how much time, money, staff resources, and the amount of their own personal involvement they will invest in it.

Top management must budget sufficient funds to provide for (a) required workplace related safety activity that will be carried out by various management and supervisory personnel, (b) all necessary workplace safety supplies and equipment, and (c) the training of management, supervisors, and employees in regard to required safety policies, practices, and business related standards.


Basic Elements of Workplace Safety Programming

Basic elements of workplace safety programming typically include (a) the publication of a written statement of corporate (company) safety policy emphasizing top management’s commitment to workplace safety and the prevention of accidents, (b) a written assignment of authority and responsibility related to workplace safety, (c) the development and conduct of workplace and job safety analysis activity designed to identify, evaluate, and prevent or control workplace related hazards, (d) the issuing of published safety standards regarding workplace facilities and equipment associated with the control of physical hazards, (e) the issuing of published safe work methods and procedures, (f) compliance with authoritative guidelines related to the control of reasonably foreseeable workplace hazards, (g) compliance with all local, state, federal and nationally recognized safety standards and regulations (subject to their faithfulness to the core principles of safety engineering and the cardinal rules of hazard control), (h) the establishment and conduct of a planned safety observation and inspection program regarding workplace related activities, facilities, and equipment, (i) the development and conduct of a management, supervisor, and worker training program related to workplace safety requirements, (j) emergency response planning regarding the sudden appearance or awareness of workplace related facility, equipment, or production hazards, (k) formal pro-active procedures for the investigation and analysis of actual and potential workplace accidents that have resulted or have a significant probability to result in serious personnel injury or property damage, and (l) the establishment of a formal means to periodically audit management performance and safety program content and effectiveness.

To be effective, and due to their importance compared to other management policies which are typically well documented, the basic elements of workplace safety programming should be in writing.


© Nelson & Associates, 2010

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