Having an effective safety and health program makes sound business sense. And, it is something that the updated OSHA guidelines are helping you with.

This is the first in a series of blog posts that will share these elements with you. One of the things OSHA did in their guidelines was to separate Management Leadership and Worker Participation into two elements. This reinforces the importance of shared responsibility between the two groups

Management Leadership Defined

The first core element in an effective safety and health program is Management Leadership. This means that business owners, managers and supervisors:

  • Make worker safety and health a core organizational value.
  • Are fully committed to eliminating hazards, protecting workers, and continuously improving workplace safety and health.
  • Provide sufficient resources to implement and maintain the safety and health program.
  • Visibly demonstrate and communicate their safety and health commitment to workers and others.
  • Set an example through their own actions.

What are ways that Management can bring this element to life?

  • Establish a clear, written policy about safety and health that is signed by your organization’s top leadership. Demonstrate to employees that their safety & health is as important as profitability, productivity, service quality and customer satisfaction.
  • Ensure the policy is communicated to all workers and relevant parties. This includes contractors, subcontractors, staffing agencies, temporary workers, suppliers, vendors, visitors and customers.
  • Management leadership must be visible throughout the company and set an example for all by following the same safety procedures workers are expected to follow.
  • Establish specific goals and objectives for the program overall along with plans on how to achieve them. These should focus on specific actions that will improve workplace safety and health, such as goals emphasizing injury and illness prevention.
  • Allocate the resources needed to ensure an effective safety & health program. This should include allowing workers the time in their schedule to participate in the program.
  • Include the safety & health program into the budgeting process so that your program has the monetary resources needed.
  • Identify who will lead the safety & health program effort and what is expected. Ensure they have the right authorities for implementing and maintaining the program.
  • Provide positive recognition when goals are met or exceeded.
  • Ensure two-way communication between management and all workers. Communicate often about safety & health issues and ensure workers understand there will be no retaliation.

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