10 Ways to Start Your OSHA Health & Safety Program

Safe and healthy employees are key to the success of your business.

Providing a safe work environment is one of the most effective ways of protecting your employees from unnecessary harm or illness.

Losing workers to injury or illness, even for a short time, can cause significant disruption and cost—check OSHA’s $afety Pays online calculator to see just how much – it can also damage workplace morale, productivity, turnover, and reputation.

According to the 2020 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index report, based on information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace injuries and accidents that cause employees to miss five or more days of work cost U.S. employers nearly $59 billion in 2020,

It also notes the top 5 five injuries from construction sites – falls to lower level, struck by object, overextension, falls to same level, and hit by vehicle – accounted for $7.87 billion in costs.

So, it’s important, not only to the overall financial health of a business but also to the wellbeing of employees, to implement safety programs and protocols to keep the work environment clear of unnecessary risk and hazards.

Having a proper safety program in place helps to identify and solve issues before they occur, rather than reacting to an incident later, and can help to reduce the chance of injuries and potentially reduce the costs associated with a loss.

If you don’t have a program in place – or if you’re looking to update your current program – here are some important steps to know about.

Recommended Practices: 10 Steps to Get You Started

OSHA provides steps you can take to develop and implement Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs.  This is a straightforward approach to setting up your safety and health program with seven core elements, which will be discussed in our next blog post.

Keep in mind, not all details need to be planned before getting started. The point is to get started!

And remember, this is a guide, you get to decide how to best complete the steps in a way that makes sense for your business.

One of the first steps you can take is to review the 10 Easy Things to Get Your Program Started.

This is a list of very basic items to start you on the path towards responsible safety and health management.

Here is an overview of the steps you can take:

  1. Establish safety and health as a core value. Let them know you will work with them to find and fix any hazards that could injure them or make them sick.
  2. Lead by example. Practice safe behavior by making safety part of your daily conversations with workers.
  3. Implement a reporting system. Provide an easy (or even anonymous) way for employees to safely report injuries, illnesses, and hazards.
  4. Provide training. Train workers on how to identify and control hazards in the workplace.
  5. Conduct inspections. Inspect the workplace with workers and ask them to identify any activity, piece of equipment, or materials that concern them.
  6. Collect hazard control ideas. Ask workers for ideas on improvements.
  7. Implement hazard controls. Work with employees to choose, implement, and evaluate solutions to reduce hazards and risk.
  8. Address emergencies. Identify foreseeable emergency scenarios and develop instructions on what to do in each case.
  9. Seek input on workplace changes. Consult with workers to identify potential safety or health issues of any changes to the workplace environment.
  10. Make improvements. Set aside a regular time to discuss safety and health issues, with the goal of identifying ways to improve the program.

The Benefits of Implementing These Recommended Practices

The main goal of a safety and health program is to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths, and prevent financial hardship these events can cause for workers, their families, and their employers.

With a program in place, other benefits may present themselves. With full cooperation of employer and employees, the following benefits may arise:

  • Improvements in products
  • Increase in customer service quality.
  • Better workplace morale.
  • Improved employee recruiting and retention.
  • A more favorable image and reputation

We’re here to help

Need help getting your safety and health program started? We offer the following services to help:

OSHA CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

OSHA TRAINING  – We offer Open Enrollment Classes, Online Courses, and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.