Drafting a safety program in the workplace as compliance to governmental standards including Occupational Safety and Health Act or OSHA is not enough. When it comes to health and safety programs, consistent and year-round compliance are necessary in ensuring that the workplace remains safe and free from hazards. This means that a health and safety program isn’t just implementing a few safety acts at once; rather it’s a continuous process that never ends. In short, an organization that’s serious in the implementing a health and safety program should consider this as a lifestyle. This may seem like a challenge for many organizations, but with a solid program and proper communication, employees and stakeholders can comply and make it a lifestyle.
Know your industry requirements
Before one can draft and implement a safety program, it’s critical to know first industry-specific safety and health requirements. For example, the health and safety requirements of an office are different compared to construction and project sites. The safety standards in project sites are more demanding owing to the complexity of tasks and the need to protect workers’ lives. Requirements can be accessed via OSHA website and publications or can be verified with the city or state government.
Communicate the health and safety program to stakeholders
Once the program has been drafted, the contents and the objectives should be presented to all stakeholders primarily the employees. Stakeholders and employees should be aware, informed and should also ‘own’ the program so it will be easier for them to follow the rules and regulations and make all these as part of work lifestyle. As part of the orientation program for employees, it will be best to let the workers know their part in the organizational structure and their roles and responsibilities. Under this arrangement, the management and employees will be more responsible in following the health and safety rules and regulations.
Make health and safety program a regular activity through use of forms
In making the health and safety program a part of work and office culture, its best that reminders are always in place and health and safety programs are incorporated in daily workflows. This can be done by placing safety signage and announcements in strategic places, and by using safety program forms.
Safety program forms can be customized to meet organizational needs- you can add a corporate logo and can be edited based on specific company safety needs. Forms vary from communication forms to hazard checklists.
Implementing a health and safety program requires a continuous process of awareness, adoption and practice. And this can be started in your own company by understanding the industry requirements, cascading the information to target employees and letting everyone own the program through regular use of safety program forms and documents.