10 Easy Things to Get Your Program Started
If you are not quite ready to implement a complete safety and health program, here are some simple steps you can take to get started. Completing these steps will give you a solid base from which to take on some of the more structured actions you may want to include in your program.
- Always set safety and health as the top priority. Tell your workers that making sure they finish the day and go home safely is the way you do business. Assure them that you will work with them to find and fix any hazards that could injure them or make them sick.
- Lead by example. Practice safe behaviors yourself and make safety part of your daily conversations with workers.
- Implement a reporting system. Develop and communicate a simple procedure for workers to report any injuries, illnesses, incidents (including near misses/close calls), hazards, or safety and health concerns without fear of retaliation. Include an option for reporting hazards or concerns anonymously.
- Provide training. Train workers on how to identify and control hazards in the workplace—using, for example, OSHA's Hazard Identification Training Tool.
- Conduct inspections. Inspect the workplace with workers and ask them to identify any activity, piece of equipment, or material that concerns them. Use checklists, such as those included in OSHA's Small Business Handbook - PDF, to help identify problems.
- Collect hazard control ideas. Ask workers for ideas on improvements and follow up on their suggestions. Provide them time during work hours, if necessary, to research solutions.
- Implement hazard controls. Assign workers the task of choosing, implementing, and evaluating the solutions they come up with.
- Address emergencies. Identify foreseeable emergency scenarios and develop instructions on what to do in each case. Meet to discuss these procedures and post them in a visible location in the workplace.
- Seek input on workplace changes. Before making significant changes to the workplace, work organization, equipment, or materials, consult with workers to identify potential safety or health issues.
- Make improvements. Set aside a regular time to discuss safety and health issues, with the goal of identifying ways to improve the program.