7 Things to Remember When Starting a Safety Program


1. Policies Just Aren’t Enough

It isn’t enough to have written policies if you let them sit in a folder until it’s time to review them. Policies are the foundations on which your entire safety sits so:

They must be visible.
Easily accessible and.
Staff need to be trained to use them.

Just because your policies cover all legislative requirements, doesn’t give you protection from prosecution in the event of an accident.

You need to prove that you’ve done everything possible to:

Remove the risk.
Substitute another product if possible.
Safety guards etc in place to protect people.
Administrative controls – procedures to keep people safe.
Issued Personal Protective equipment.

2. History Doesn’t Repeat

Just because you haven’t had an accident doesn’t mean you are running a safe workplace.

It actually could put you at greater risk of having an accident due to management or worker complacency. Unless you are actively looking for unsafe situations or problems you won’t find them. And if you don’t find them someone will.

Possibly with tragic consequences.

3. Making Money With Safety

Making money with safety might seem like a strange concept but if you think about it for a while it isn’t.

Think about the costs involved with:

Retraining of staff due to high turnover.
Insurance premium increases due to safety issues.
Decrease in productivity because workers are worried.

It will cost to put a safety system in place but the long term benefits are huge.

4. Healthy Workplace = Happy Workers

Ensuring a safe workplace makes your people feel valued. And employees that feel valued are more likely to stay with the company and want the company to succeed.

Bad employees will tend to leave of their own choice because they won’t fit with your company. Your company will gain a reputation for being a great place to work and you’ll find good employees easily.

So staff turnover decreases and productivity increases which equals increased profits.

5. Accidents Don’t Just Happen

Despite what we have all come to believe accidents don’t just happen. Accidents happen because of things like:

Poor performances in safety programmes.
Lack of training, reporting or listening.

By avoiding trigger factors for accidents we can easily build a workplace that is safe. A commitment to safety first by management will lead to a commitment to safety first by staff.

And only by total commitment will safety be achieved.

6. Show, Don’t Tell

Safety systems have to be clearly understood by all the people using them. From the general manager to the newest apprentice, safety must be clearly understood.

Having policies and procedures that are not clearly understood is a waste of time and money.

The best way to impart the knowledge is with posters, charts and diagrams. Print them off, laminate them and place them in all work areas as well as places like the meal room. Having them displayed prominently instead of sitting in a folder on a shelf will have the effect of keeping the safety culture in your workplace alive which keeps your workers alive.

7. Analysts Help

You’ve done everything right. You’ve got OH&S committees, you do safety inspections, you listen to your employees when they mention safety issues, so you don’t need an external analyst do you?


Having an analyst come in is the same as going to your accountant. A safety analyst specializes in safety. They are able to see things from a different perspective and seeing things through a different perspective is good for your business.

Another benefit of having an analyst is they keep current on all legislative changes. An analyst is amongst the first to know what changes have taken place at a state and federal level. They are able to explain exactly what they mean to your business or industry.

Just like an accountant keeps on top of financial matters a safety analyst keeps on top of safety matters, leaving you free to run your business.


Source by Nicole Matthews