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The Safety Doctor Article

Dr. Isabel Perry
©Copyright 2002

"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 success.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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 documented.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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?
  7. 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 reserved.

Dr. Isabel Perry offers you these articles to reprint or repost - FREE - provided that her name and contact information (supplied below) are included. Please let us know how you plan to use any article(s) by Dr. Isabel Perry by contacting us. 

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 [email protected]