14 ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL SAFETY & HEALTH PROGRAM
Element 1: Hazard Recognition, Evaluation and Control.
Establishing and maintaining safe and healthful conditions required indenifing hazards,
evaluating their pontential effects, developing ways to eliminate or control them and
planning action priorities.This process is the essence of successful safety and health
Element 2:Workplace Design and Engineering
Safety and health issues are most easily and economically addressed when facilities,
processes and equipment are being designed. Organizations must incorporate safety
into workplace design, production processes and selection.They also need to evaluate
and modify or replace exisiting processes, equipment and facilities to make them safer.
We explore how the design and function of the workplace can complement safety and
health goals, minimize exposure to hazards and promote safe practices.
Element 3: Safety Performance Management
As in all areas of operations, standards must be set for safety performance. They should
reflect applicable regulatory requirements, additional voluntary guidelines and best business practices. We describe how managers, supervisors and employees
can be made responsible and held accountable for meeting standards within their
control. We look at how job performance appraisals can reflect performance in safety
and health, as well as in other areas.
Element 4: Regulatory Compliance Management
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Mine Safety and
Health Administration (MSHA) and state safety and health agencies establish
and enforce safety and health regulations.Other agencies, such as the Environmental
Protection Agency, also issue and enforce regulations relating to safety and health
in the United States. We discuss key aspects of international regulations in the European
Union, Canada and Mexico. Staying informed about and complying with regulations
are essential goals of safety and health programs.We also look briefly at conducting regulatory compliance inspections.
Element 5: Occupational Health
Occupational health programs range from the simple to the complex. At a minimun,
such programs address the immediate needs of injured or ill employees by providing
first aid and responce to emergencies. More elaborate medical services may incude
medical surveillance programs and provision for an in-house medical capability.
In addition, some companies are beginning to focus on off-the-job safety and health
through employee wellness and similar programs.
ELEMENT 6: Information Collection
Safety and health activities, including inspections, record keeping, industrial hygine
surveys and other occupational health assessments, injury/illness/incident investigations
and performance reviews, produce a large quantity of data. Safety and health professionals must collect and analyze this data. Small incidents often provide early
warning of more serious safety or health problems. Complete and accurate records
can be used to identify hazards, measure safety performance and improvement, and
through analyses, help identify patterns.
ELEMENT 7: Employee Involvement
Design and engineering controls are limited in their ability to reduce hazards.
Companies now understand that their real assets are people, not machinery, and
they also realize that employees must recognize their stake in a safe and healthful
workplace. As employees become more involved in planning, implementation and
improvement, they see the need for safer work practices. Solutions to safety and
health problems often come from affected employees. We look at how employees
can contribute to safety and health objectives through safety committees and teams.
ELEMENT 8: Motivation, Behavior, and Attitudes
Movtivation aims at changing behavior and attitudes to create a safer, healthier workplace. This elements describe two general approches organizations use
to motivate employees and stresses the role that visible management leadership
plays in changing unsafe or unhealthy behaviors and attitudes. It also describes
three motivational techniques: communications, incentives/awards/recognition and
ELEMENT 9:Training and Orientation
New and transferred employees must become familiar with company policies and
procedures and learn how to perform thier jobs safely and efficiently. The use of
on-the-job, classroom and specialty training can contribute to a successful safety
and health program. A complete program includes hazard recognition, regulatory
compliance and prevention. The training is reinforced through regular follow-up
with both new and veteran employees.
ELEMENT 10: Organizational Communications
Effective communication within the organization keeps employees informed about
policies, procedures, goals and progress. We see how to spread the word about
safety and health programs inside the company through the use of bulletin board
notices,newsletters, meeting and other devices. Effective two-way communications
between employees and managers is critical as is publicizing safety and health
information in the community.
ELEMENT 11:Management and Control of External Exposures
Todays safety and health programs must address risks beyond the organizations
walls. We described the kinds of contingency plans and "what if" worst-case scenarios
that are part of planning for disasters, contractor activities and product and other
ELEMENT 12:Environmental Management
Environmental management often requires a complete program of its own and is
addressed in a separate volume, 7 Elements of Successful Environmental Program,
available from the National Safety Council. Many companies, however, address environmental issues along with safety and health as part of their comprehensive
programs. We discuss the minimum that an environmental program should cover,
including compliance monitioring and contingency planning for emergencies. More
aggressive environmental management incorporates pollution prevention and an
active role in environmental improvement.
ELEMENT 13:Workplace Planning and Staffing
Safety and health considerations are important when planning for and staffing the
companys work force. We consider issues such as work safety rules, employee
assistance programs and requirements resulting from the American with Disabilities
ELEMENT 14:Assessments, Audits, and Evaluations
Every organizations needs tools to measure conditions, monitor compliance and
assess progress. A variety of evaluative tools can be used to meet the needs of
the organizations, including self- assessments, third-party assessments and voluntary
regulatory assessments. Numerous resources are available for conducting assessments
audits and evaluations, including the companys own trained internal staff, consultants
and OSHA and other agencies.
The Continuous Improvement Model is a framework for safety presented in the
National Safety Councils Agenda 2000 Safety Health Environment Program.
The 14 Elements are the materials that fit within the framework. Continuous
improvement is a process-oriented business approach that emphasizes
the contributions people make to long-range, permanent solutions to problems.
It is the cornerstone of total quality management. Applying the process that forms
the Contiinuous Improvement Model requires understanding causes before
designing solutions.Improvements may be dramatic or incremental. In any event,
the model helps ensure that occur regularly.
The Continuous Improvement Model
Phase 1: Management Commitment and Involvement
The first phase is to make a management commitment and to gain managements
involvement. Companies with successful safety and health programs have active
senior management participation. Without this active involvement, mid-level
managers and front-line supervisors tend to ignore safety and health as an issue.
Senior management signals its commitment by stating a position that is
communcated through clear, unambiguous policy and implementation procedures.
When management supports the 14 Elements, it also indicates a broad commitment to the issues include in the reviews. It then supports continuous improvement in safty and health through ongoing involvement, allocation of resources and feedback.