The program includes recommended practices for setting up a safety and health program, as well as Safe+Sound Week in June - a nationwide event to raise awareness and understanding of the value of proactive safety and health programs in workplaces.
A Proven Approach to Safety
Employers have proven that safety and health programs reduce the numbers of injuries and illnesses, and improve their bottom line. While there are different approaches, effective safety and health programs have three core elements:
- Management leadership. Top management commits to establishing, maintaining, and continually improving the program, and provides any necessary resources.
- Worker participation. Effective programs involve workers in identifying solutions. Improved worker engagement is linked to better productivity, higher job satisfaction, and better worker retention.
- A systematic find-and-fix approach. All effective programs are centered around a proactive process of finding and fixing hazards before they can cause injury or illness.
The idea is to begin with a basic program and simple goals and grow from there. If employers focus on achieving goals, monitoring performance and evaluating outcomes, their workplace can progress along the path to higher levels of safety and health achievement.
Easy to Get Started
OSHA says that creating a safety and health program doesn't have to be complicated or demand outside consultants be employed; there are some simple, do-it-yourself steps to get started.
"We don't want businesses, especially small ones, to believe they cannot afford to protect their workers," said an OSHA administrator from Kansas City. "OSHA provides good safety information and will work with employers to help them comply with safety and health standards." Companies can contact OSHA by phone for assistance in achieving safety compliance.
OSHA's Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs page offers practical advice on how any organization can integrate safety and health programs. Resources and tools include:
- Communication and Coordination
- Education and Training
- Hazard Identification and Assessment
- Hazard Prevention and Control
- Management Leadership
- Program Evaluation and Improvement
- Worker Participation
OSHA also offers compliance assistance, tips, educational materials, training and other information on how to prevent illness and injury - all at no charge.
Free OSHA Consultation for Smaller Businesses
Each state has its own On-site Consultation Program. This free and confidential safety and health consultation program is primarily targeted toward smaller businesses. Employers can find out about potential hazards at their workplace, improve programs already in place and qualify for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections.
OSHA initiated 12 fatality inspections in recent months and found a significant increase in fatalities associated with confined space entry and trenching and excavating. Fatalities involving workers being struck by motor vehicles also doubled from two to four persons for the same time period.
- OSHA Safe and Sound page.
- Core elements of an effective safety and health program.
- OSHA Safety and Health Programs page.
- Browse safety slogan signs, banners and scoreboards.