Safety Program Reviews: Prepare Now, Save Later
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).
Next, make sure you have documentation that shows all staff members have received initial safety training. Don’t forget the part-time and seasonal employees in this review. For many work functions, occupational training is necessary—make sure that all certificates are current, and log the expiration dates for future reference, too. (This is also a good time to update your HR files for such things as valid driver’s licenses and social security cards.)
Employee turnover rates: Statistics say that the higher the turnover, the higher the incidence rate. What do you do to properly train and integrate new employees into your workplace safety and production programs?
Set aside time for a short safety review training session. Don’t forget to keep a record of what was discussed and who attended. There are seven or more common programs that OSHA requires annual refresher training. If you have not conducted these in the past 11 months, now is a good time to get them on your calendars. OSHA fines can be up to $500 per individual if not current on refresher training.