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Safety Program Reviews: Prepare Now, Save Later

November 26, 2013 By Dale Rothenberger

Eighty percent of workers are unable to complete safety and hazard reports. Safety starts at the top and at the individual, but flows through the entire organization. What’s your safety IQ?

Facts:

  • Studies show that corporate policies and procedures for safety programs in the workplace are written above the literacy level of the average worker to comprehend and understand.
  • Younger generation workers have a clear fear of reporting work-related mishaps and concerns, due to being the newbies, and not sure of what the result will be in their keeping their jobs.
  • Twenty years ago, it was easier to tell what was or was not a work-related injury because most of the workplace injuries that led to disability were traumatic incidents.

The last quarter/first quarters of each year are hectic times for most U.S. businesses. They are closing out our current year results, and at the same time setting budgets and goals for the coming year. It’s been the same sequence for decades—“We always do it this way.”

One document required to be submitted and posted by federal statutes is your OSHA 300 work-related injuries and illnesses report. Employers with more than 10 employees and whose establishments are not classified as a partially exempt industry must record using OSHA Forms 300, 300A and 301. (Partially exempt industries include establishments in specific low hazard retail, service, finance, insurance or real estate industries.) Employers who are required to keep Form 300, the injury and illness log, must post Form 300A, the summary of work-related injuries and illnesses, in a workplace every year from Feb. 1 to April 30. Current and former employees, or their representatives, have the right to access injury and illness records.

As a printer, when do you look at your safety programs and measure performance?

Although most OSHA standards only require the business to update policies when things change, we don’t always recognize those changes when they happen. For this reason, there should be a pre-planned review time for all the safety rules in your organization. Just as we encourage annual health checkups for our employees, an annual review of the safety program just makes good sense.

Start by reading the safety plan and your “right to know” procedures. Pay particular attention to the responsible persons named in the plans and make sure they are still the best ones to handle the job. Hand-written changes are acceptable, but the plan should be retyped when the changes start to clutter the document. Put a revision date on the new plan and keep the old one for at least seven years (just like any other business records).

 

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