People routinely go to their doctor for a medical checkup, and that’s a healthy thing to do. If your doctor finds a health issue, a prescription is generally written to address that concern in order to get you back to good health.
Likewise, companies should also submit their workplace safety programs to a routine checkup to ensure they in compliance and are effective.
The question I get asked most is “what is the best way to accomplish this?” There are a two prescriptions for a safety program checkup I’d like to address in answering that question. Those are:
1) If your company has a safety professional managing and directing your workplace safety program, then that person should periodically form a committee, with department leaders, to review at each specific company safety program in effort to determine if those safety programs are in compliance, effective and being complied with by their employees. This is method is referred to as an “internal safety program inspection.”
Any negatives derived from this review process would then be addressed by editing any affected sections of those specific written safety programs and providing additional employee training where needed. This method ensures that each department leader on the review committee has ‘skin in the game‘ and will be held accountable to ensure any corrective actions for their department are promptly implemented.
2) If your company does not have a safety professional managing and directing your workplace safety program, then it’s time to bring in an outside safety consulting company to conduct an “external safety program audit.” This is similar to seeking knowledge from your doctor on your health during a periodic physical.
A safety audit is typically designed to evaluate safety programs and practices put in place with a focus on determining their reliability and/or effectiveness (i.e. Are the programs regulatory compliant?; Do the programs meet company desired goals?; and, Is employee training effective and meaningful?). This audit method ensures an unbiased opinion on any workplace safety program where corrective actions may be needed. This audit method may also uncover any regulatory required safety programs that were found to be either missing or inadequate for the tasks being performed.
SAFETY COMPLIANCE CAN BE COMPLICATED. Your safety consultant shouldn’t be.
Americana Safety is a nationwide safety consulting firm, in business since 1996, helping to protect businesses by mitigating dangers, risks and injuries. Please contact us at 888.339.8540 to discuss a safety program checkup, or to learn more, visit our website at www.AmericanaSafety.com.
Joseph DeMaria, Ph.D., CFC, CSHM, CHCM, DACFEI, MIIRSM
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Principal Forensic Safety Consultant