The Safety Doctor Article
Dr. Isabel Perry
"Health and Safety"
Seven Step Plan for Success
Would you consider going on a road trip without a map? Consider planning your
Health and Safety Program the same way you strategize your road trip…plan for
The plan is intended to be a summary of how the employer will develop,
implement and maintain and effective Health and Safety program in their
workplace. The following is a general guide for structuring your program1.
- Management commitment
Monkey see, monkey do.” The starting point for a good Health and Safety
Program is a signed statement by management of their commitment to health and
safety in the workplace. The assignment of responsibility for the Health and
Safety Program should be given to someone in the organization with authority
to oversee changes and allocate appropriate resources.
- Health and safety program analysis
“Do you know where you are going and where you have been?” To help identify
unsafe conditions or practices and take action to prevent additional
incidents, a review of workplace injuries, illnesses and accident
investigations is necessary. Identifying how? How often and what instrument
will be used? Who is responsible to ensure the review will occur? What records
will be included? How will corrective actions be documented and tracked?
- Safety education and training
“But I didn’t know.” The safety training element describes how workplace
health and safety education “needs” will be identified and who will be
responsible for the program. The course content and attendance records must be
- Safety record keeping
“OSHA 300 is not a state road.” Successful workplace health and safety
programs keep good records. These records assist in identifying trends and
keeping track of accidents to prevent injuries. Examples of records that must
be kept include (not all inclusive): records of injuries and illnesses on the
OSHA 300 LOG, safety training, safety inspections, status reports of any
corrective actions, and safety meetings with attendance records.
- Accident investigation
“Whoops.” It is critical to determine the ROOT CAUSE of an incident to see if
similar circumstances exist elsewhere in the workplace. These must be
eliminated. An accident investigation process should be defined: How will the
notification process occur? What types of accidents will be investigated? Who
is responsible and included in the investigation? How will corrective actions
be tracked? How will the process be documented?
- Safety inspection and audit
“I see you.” Unsafe conditions or practices in the workplace should be
identified before someone gets hurt. Safety inspections are not meant to be
“Got you!” but rather, a method to remove risk from the workplace. The
following questions should be answered: Who will be responsible for seeing the
audits and inspections occur? How often? Which areas? How will corrections
that are needed be documented?
- Safety program review and revision
“How did I do?” As the nature of the business changes and new processes are
added, a review of the safety program becomes more critical. As new safety and
health regulations occur, they need to be wrapped into the safety program.
Efforts should be dedicated to where there is the greatest risk. Only by
reviewing the status can this be achieved.
Well, here is your roadmap to building a strong Health and Safety Program. It
is not meant to be all-inclusive, but it will provide direction for companies
looking for general guidance.
Copyright 2002 Dr. Isabel Perry. All rights
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Dr. Isabel Perry prescribes solutions to reduce risk, costs and increase
production for all types of organizations. Dr. Perry is an Orlando, Florida
based Safety Professional with over 20 years of broad-based safety experience
including: safety speaker, safety consultant, expert witness, and former safety
executive at a Fortune 50 company. Her clients include many multinational firms.
Dr. Perry’s can be contacted at Isabel@TheSafetyDoctor.com