Safety Program Reviews: Prepare Now, Save Later
Typical topics covered include: electrical safety, lock out/tag out, slips-trips-falls, welding safety, ladder safety, fire safety/extinguishers, machine guarding and maintenance, PPE, respiratory, right-to-know, back injury/safe lifting, bloodborne pathogens.
Also, remember that since OSHA standards require employees to receive fire safety refresher training on an annual basis, it’s also a great time to reemphasize some of the rules that the staff has been less than diligent in following.
Now’s a great time to give the labeling program a boost, too. Take a look at the labels on all your secondary chemical containers and replace those that are missing or not readable. If you have not developed a GHS compliance plan, now is the perfect time to do so.
Take a walk around the building, inside and out. Look for any new safety hazards and any old ones that need additional attention. This periodic physical review of the practice shows that you take safety seriously and that you try very hard to prevent problems before they start.
Finally, keep a record of the review; coordinate findings with your safety committee and responsible management personnel. Set a plan of action with defined dates for completion, then ensure tasks have been completed and signed off with dates. Let your employees know of findings—ask for feedback and suggestions. Many significant cost-saving ideas have come from employees because they see things from a hands-on perspective.
Most small businesses know what they should be doing, but don’t have the tools or experience on how to go about doing it. Below is a suggested outline of a typical year-end annual review program.
An annual business health and safety audit is recommended for all businesses. The employer must have arrangements for monitoring and review of employee well-being and safety measures.
The objectives of this annual review are:
- Review of health and safety system, identification of areas of low/non compliance.
- Identification of employee training needs to create a safer working environment.
- Assessment of key hazards within the workplace, which will require a risk assessment.
- Effectiveness of existing audits and management controls.
- Recommendation for improvement actions for senior management team.
The health and safety annual audit is divided into the following sections: