U.S. Department of Labor
Process: Hazardous Energy
Safety and Health Programs
A safe workplace is sound business. The key to a healthful workplace is a safety and health program.
Safety and health programs help to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths, as well as the suffering and financial hardship these events can cause for workers, their families, and employers. OSHA’s Guidelines for Safety and Health Programs provides recommended practices that use a proactive approach to managing workplace safety and health. Traditional approaches are often reactive – that is, problems are addressed only after a worker is injured or becomes sick, a new standard or regulation is published, or an outside inspection finds a problem that must be fixed. These recommended practices recognize that finding and fixing hazards before they cause injury or illness is a far more effective approach.
The idea is to begin with a basic program and simple goals and grow from there. Focus on achieving goals, monitoring performance, and evaluating outcomes will help workplaces progress along the path to higher levels of safety and health achievement. Further, implementing these recommended practices also brings other benefits. Safety and health programs help businesses:
- Prevent workplace injuries and illnesses
- Improve compliance with laws and regulations
- Reduce costs, including significant reductions in workers' compensation premiums
- Engage workers
- Enhance their social responsibility goals
- Increase productivity and enhance overall business operations
Visit OSHA’s safety and health program web page for more information.
How Can OSHA Help?
OSHA has compliance assistance specialists throughout the nation who can provide information to employers and workers about OSHA standards, short educational programs on specific hazards or OSHA rights and responsibilities, and information on additional compliance assistance resources. Contact your local OSHA office for more information.
OSHA's On-Site Consultation Program offers free and confidential advice for small businesses with fewer than 250 employees at a site (and no more than 500 employees nationwide) to help identify and correct hazards at your worksite. On-site consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. To locate the OSHA Consultation office nearest you, visit OSHA's website or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
OSHA's Cooperative Programs: OSHA offers cooperative programs under which businesses, labor groups and other organizations can work cooperatively with OSHA. To find out more about these programs, visit www.osha.gov/dcsp/compliance_assistance/index_programs.html.
Worker Rights Workers have the right to:
- Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
- Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary they can understand) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
- Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- Get copies of test results that find and measure hazards.
- File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA’s rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
- Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation.
For more information, see OSHA's webpage for workers.
For questions or to get information or advice, to report an emergency, to report a fatality or catastrophe, to order publications, to file a confidential complaint, or to request OSHA’s free on site consultation service, contact your nearest OSHA office, visit www.osha.gov, or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627.
Many states operate their own occupational safety and health programs approved by OSHA. States enforce similar standards that may have different or additional requirements. A list of state plans is available at: www.osha.gov/dcsp/osp.