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
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.
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
- 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
- is long range, so it is not quickly outdated.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
- gives it wide exposure. Make it part of the policy manual – memos get
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
- 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
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
- ensuring supervisor observation of safety and health procedures to identify
- implementing remedial action, including additional instruction and
- 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.
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
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
Timely accident investigation is critical to prevent other, similar accidents.
Adopt an intervention strategy and follow up to ensure its satisfactory
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
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.