Where to Begin When Writing a Safety Program

A formal safety program is a set of written documents that describe a company’s safety policies, priorities, and responsibilities.  The program is designed to bring structure and consistency into a company’s accident prevention efforts.  Without a written document, your safety program might be like a construction crew without a blueprint, or a factory without a production plan. Making sure that everyone who comes to work leaves at the end of the day in the same good condition as when they arrived should be a goal of every company whether its an office based environment or a construction site.

Each different place has risks and hazards that can cause work related injury.  A safety program, whether it is formal or informal, will not succeed without unconditional management buy in. Whether or not the safety program succeeds or fails falls squarely on the shoulders of management and owners.  A consistent culture which makes it unacceptable to “throw caution to the winds” in the name of production, customer service, or profit, is essential to the welfare of the people and the company. 

This will have a direct result on Workers Compensation premiums The Following checklist is an outline, but not an end all solution. As with all checklists, this one is designed to identify important elements of a safety program.  Some elements may not be applicable to your operation, and, there may be others which you need which are not listed here. It is important to analyze your business by taking a day and going back through each function of your company to see if there are areas that need to be added to the program.  You should not assume that if all elements are implemented, that a complete safety program is in place. Only the management and ownership of an organization can determine whether or not a safety program is adequate to protect its people and property. As with everything you will need to conduct meetings from time to time and maybe even set up incentive based plans to ensure safety is always on the forefront of your employees minds.

  1. Regulatory Compliance and Recordkeeping
  2. Employee Involvement and Communication
  3. Safety Committee
  4. Inspections and Audits
  5. Human Resources Programs
  6. Hazard and Incident Analysis
  7. Special Safety Procedures (i.e. Safe lifting, First Aid, etc)
  8. Hazardous Materials
  9. Proper use of Equipment and Machinery
  10. Transportation and Fleet Safety
  11. Property Safety and Protection
  12. Responsibilities of Management, Supervisors, and Employees
  13. Safety Rules
  14. Disciplinary Policy
  15. Safety Meetings

This list is a grouping of basic categories that can get you started to forming your own Company Safety Program.

Most carriers and agents should be more than happy to help you set one up as well. Remember why a written safety program is important. As workers, we need to know what is specifically required of us, to perform our job safely.

As supervisors, we need the tools and guidance to help us manage a safe production process.  As management, we must continually protect the workforce because it is our greatest asset. A tremendous hidden benefit of a well designed and ran Safety Program is the reduce premium required for workers compensation insurance. Reduce your claims and your experience modification factor will decrease overtime.

This entry was posted in National Workers Compensation and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.