OSHA releases best practices for safety, health issues

A set of "Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs" was released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to help employers establish a methodical approach to improving safety. Ten tips for establishing a safety program are listed.

11/15/2016


A set of "Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs" was released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Assistant Secretary David Michaels, update OSHA's 1989 guidelines to reflect changes in the economy, workplaces, and evolving safety and health issues. They are designed to help employers establish a methodical approach to improving safety.

Key principles include: Leadership from the top to send a message that safety and health is critical to business operations; worker participation in finding solutions; and a systematic approach to find and fix hazards.

"We know that working together to implement these programs will help prevent injuries and illnesses, and also make businesses more sustainable," Michaels said.

OSHA updated the Guidelines for Safety and Health Programs it first released 30 years ago.

The recommended practices present a step-by-step approach to implementing a safety and health program, built around seven core elements that make up a successful program.

The main goal of safety and health programs is to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths, as well as the suffering and financial hardship these events can cause for workers, their families, and employers.

The recommended practices use a proactive approach to managing workplace safety and health. Traditional approaches are often reactive, but these recommended practices recognize finding and fixing hazards before they cause injury or illness is a more effective approach.

The idea is to begin with a basic program and simple goals and grow from there. If companies focus on achieving goals, monitoring performance, and evaluating outcomes, the workplace can progress along the path to higher levels of safety and health achievement.

The following are 10 easy ways to get a safety program started:

  1. Set safety and health as a top priority
  2. Lead by example
  3. Implement a reporting system
  4. Provide training
  5. Conduct inspections
  6. Collect hazard control ideas
  7. Implement hazard controls
  8. Address emergencies
  9. Seek input on workplace changes
  10. Make improvements.

Gregory Hale is the editor and founder of Industrial Safety and Security Source (ISSSource.com), a news and information Website covering safety and security issues in the manufacturing automation sector. This content originally appeared on ISSSource.com. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, Control Engineeringcvavra@cfemedia.com.

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