Safety and Health Programs

An unsafe work environment will lead to serious consequences for your business and staff. Hazardous conditions, dangerous equipment, toxic chemicals and risky work procedures are a few of the challenges your business may face. Establishing a solid, functional safety and health program is essential for protecting what is important.

Minimize risks for your business

The loss of a skilled worker can far exceed the cost of correcting unsafe conditions. By implementing safety and health management techniques, you can prevent occupational injuries and illnesses, conserve assets and mitigate losses.

Effective safety and health management prevents or reduces worker injuries and illnesses. Its elements are incorporated into your company’s operating procedures and policies. The promotion of occupational safety and health can produce altruistic benefits, improved plant productivity, increased morale and lower bottom-line costs.

Program Elements                            
A proactive program has:

  • management’s safety and health policy
  • supervisory safety and health performance program
  • safety and health coordinator
  • written procedures and training
  • worker selection procedures
  • safety and health committee and/or safety and health meetings
  • hazard surveys
  • loss trend analysis
  • accident investigations

Management’s Safety and Health Policy
The safety and health policy, developed by your top management personnel, should state that occupational safety and health is one of your company’s core values, along with productivity, financial performance and customer service. Use the policy to guide supervisors in their decision making and hazard analysis. Prepare a policy statement that:

  • states objectives in clear, understandable language. Pay special attention to bi-lingual issues and ensure goals are measurable and related to company profitability.
  • states the policy as a belief. Reinforce the principle that safety and health performance supports the company’s goals; encourage monitoring by all workers, supervisors and top management.
  • presents itself in broad terms, then thoroughly covers each point of its purpose
  • is long range, so it is not quickly outdated. This provides stability without preventing periodic review and improvement.
  • gives the policy stature. Include your chief executive officer’s signature.
  • gives it wide exposure. Make it part of the policy manual – memos get lost.

Supervisory Safety and Health Performance Program
Your line supervisors and managers are good candidates to maintain the worker safety and health program. First, establish measurable performance criteria, such as timely and comprehensive accident investigations, routine departmental hazard surveys, safety and health procedures enforcement and routine worker safety and health meetings. Then, include these criteria as part of their annual performance reviews, weighting it equally with productivity, financial performance and customer service.

Safety and Health Coordinator
Consider appointing a coordinator, selected by your top management team, to focus on and administer the safety and health program. The coordinator serves as staff consultant by supporting line supervisors and managers in carrying out program requirements. Safety and health coordinator’s duties typically include:

  • developing policies and procedures
  • developing and implementing worker and supervisor training programs
  • conducting routine hazard surveys and safety and health meetings
  • conducting accident investigations and analysis
  • managing essential activities aimed at reducing worker injuries and illnesses

Written Procedures and Training
Written procedures and training educate workers on program requirements and provide guidelines to ensure a safe and healthful work environment. Procedures and training programs serve you best when reflective of your workplace hazards. The development, implementation and ongoing administration of safety and health procedures and training involves:

  • developing and revising a company safety and health procedures manual
  • training new and existing workers on company safety and health procedures
  • ensuring supervisor observation of safety and health procedures to identify at-risk behavior
  • implementing remedial action, including additional instruction and disciplinary action
  • retraining of safety and health procedures when necessary

Worker Selection Procedures
Because worker selection and job placement affect worker safety and health, consider drug and alcohol testing, background checks, motor vehicle records for drivers, a probationary period, pre-placement medical examinations and health evaluations to ensure that workers can safely perform assigned tasks. Worker selection procedures should not conflict with state and federal laws intended to protect against hiring discrimination.

Safety and Health Committee and/or Safety and Health Meetings
To help promote an atmosphere of safety and health awareness among workers, establish a formal safety and health committee or conduct safety and health meetings. Both methods allow workers and management to communicate their respective safety and health needs.

Hazard Surveys
The first step in a hazard recognition and control program is identifying and evaluating workplace hazards associated with machinery, equipment, tools, operations, physical plant and at-risk behaviors. Request a physical inspection of the facilities using a trained safety professional, loss trend analysis and/or a job hazard analysis or your Cincinnati loss control representative.

Once identified, evaluate and rank the hazards; address the worst first. When ranking, consider the severity, probable occurrence frequency and number of workers exposed. Armed with full and accurate information, you can make intelligent and informed hazard control decisions. Conduct follow-up surveys to ensure timely correction of unsafe conditions and at-risk behaviors.

Loss Trend Analysis
Conduct a loss trend analysis for the prior three to five years to identify major causes of loss, such as slips/falls or materials handling. Management can then design and implement intervention strategies to eliminate or reduce each major cause.

Accident Investigations
Timely accident investigation is critical to prevent other, similar accidents. Adopt an intervention strategy and follow up to ensure its satisfactory implementation.

Contact Us
Cincinnati’s loss control services are free to our policyholders. Let us tailor a loss control program for your business. For more information, or to schedule a meeting with a Cincinnati loss control representative, please contact your local independent agent representing Cincinnati.

Our loss control service is advisory only. We assume no responsibility for management or control of customer loss control activities or for implementation of recommended corrective measures. These materials were gathered from trade services and public information. We have not tried to identify all exposures. We do not warrant that this information is consistent with Cincinnati underwriting guidelines or with any federal, state or local law, regulation or ordinance. All information adapted with permission of Insurance Services Offices Inc.; Engineering and Safety.

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