Building an effective occupational health and safety program can sound intimidating at the start. Without it, you run the risk of illness, injury, and even death in your facility. With it, you help ensure the safety of both your employees and your financial assets. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, you can set your facility up for health and safety program success with the outline provided below.
Make health and safety a core value
Establish a policy that emphasizes your organization is committed to workers’ health and safety.
Lead by example
Everyone needs to follow the protocols set in place, no matter the pecking order. More buy-in from your employees at all levels early on leads to a more successful OHS program (and audit).
It’s essential to form ways for your workers to report incidents, hazards, and concerns without fear of retaliation. This practice instills trust and could prevent further accidents from happening in your facility.
Provide Required training
Knowledge is power. Provide your personnel with the training they need to actively participate in the OHS program.
Set up inspection programs
Work with your employees to audit activities, equipment, or materials that could create hazardous conditions. Use checklists! The more documentation you have, the better.
Collect ideas from the workforce to identify and control hazards
Get people involved in your regular inspections of all operations, equipment, plant vehicles, and work areas.
Implement hazard controls
Train your employees to incorporate new hazard controls into their routines. Remember always to integrate their feedback.
Prepare for emergencies
Next, identify any foreseeable emergencies. Develop emergency action plans, continue training your workforce, and perform drills to ensure everyone knows what actions to take.
Implement a process for management of change
Consult with your employees on potential health or safety concerns before making changes. Creating a safe working environment should not make your workforce’s tasks more difficult.
Plan for ongoing improvement
An effective occupational health and safety program is one that adapts to improve performance. Continually verify that the corrective actions put in place are doing their intended job and adjust if needed.