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4 Basic Elements of an Effective Safety & Health Program

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A workplace safety program includes policies, procedures, and plans for keeping a safe workplace.

  • The main goal of safety and health programs is to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths.
  • Safety programs provide leadership and resources needed to establish a workplace safety culture.
  • Every safety and health program is specific to each individual workplace.

Why Is Safety at Work Important?

Workplace safety is very important for each and every employee in the industry because everyone desires to work in a safe and protected atmosphere. Workplace safety will minimize the risk of injury on the job. 

A safe and healthy workplace will not only protect your employees from injury and illness but can also lower injury or illness costs, increase productivity and quality, and raise employee morale. More than that, it is the right thing to do. 

Where Does Safety Training Come In?

Safety training courses, regardless of the format, help employees become more informed and conscious of their own safety as well as the safety of their fellow employees. 

Without safety training, employees will be unprepared when facing hazards in their workplace. If hazards and incidents are not handled properly, it puts even more employees at risk of getting hurt. Safety training reduces the possibility of injury and death, benefiting everyone. 

What is a Safety & Health Program?

As an employer, you need to develop a workplace safety and health program or designate a safety supervisor to do so. The safety program should cover all the policies, procedures, and plans for maintaining a safe workplace. These programs are not required by OSHA; however, they are always strongly recommended. Safety and health programs are the best way for you to ensure that your workplace abides by OSHA standards at all times. 

What Does Safety Training Have to Do With Safety Programs?

Safety training should be a primary part of your workplace safety program. It should detail what training is being given to each employee as well as a list of the employees and when they completed their training. 

The main goal of safety and health programs is to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths, as well as the suffering and financial hardship these events can cause for workers and their families.

Does OSHA Require My Workplace to Have a Safety Program?

OSHA does not require your workplace to have a safety program, but OSHA does have regulations and rules for each workplace that are enforceable by federal law. A safety and health program is the most effective way for you to assess your workplace’s ability to comply with these regulations put in place by OSHA. OSHA guidelines and regulations can help you develop an effective safety and health program based on what they require.

Safety & Health Program Management

As stated earlier, the employer or a designated safety supervisor are the ones in charge of developing and implementing safety and health programs into the workplace. Managing the programs correctly provides the leadership, visions, and resources needed to make employee safety a core value throughout the entire organization. 

Safety & Health Management System

There are many ways to properly manage safety and health programs that are implemented in the workplace. For the sake of this article, we will be going over a simple step-by-step management system. This specific system requires four simple steps, which are to:

  1. Communicate your commitment: A written policy helps employers clearly communicate to their employees that safety and health in the workplace is top priority. 
  2. Define the program goals: By establishing specific goals and objectives through the safety and health programs, expectations are set for everyone involved in the overall program. This helps improve workplace safety by providing a way to focus on and fix specific safety issues. 
  3. Allocate resources and review: Managing the programs also means that the employer or designated safety supervisor is responsible for providing all the resources needed to implement the program. They will also have the responsibility to review the program as needed and figure out if it's working. It is possible that the program may help some people and places in the workplace while inhibiting others. 
  4. Expect performance changes and provide positivity: Management should lead the program's efforts by establishing roles and responsibilities throughout the organization. Employees must be given room to adapt to the changes that have been implemented; the only way for them to adapt is by seeing that they can thrive in this new environment. In order for this to happen, management must also provide a positive environment that encourages communication about safety and health in the workplace.

Basic Program Elements

Every workplace safety training program is specific to each individual workplace. This means that each program will have different elements that work for that specific workplace and not for others. However, there are a couple of general elements that can be useful when implementing any new program into a work environment.

  • Communication: Communication is key when it comes to safety in any work environment. It is especially important between employers and employees. Communication is a two-way street and should involve both parties. Employers should be able to communicate any changes to policies or procedures to their employees. Also, employees need to be able to communicate safety issues to their employers. 
  • Participation: To be effective, any safety and health program needs the meaningful participation of both the employer and the employee. 

Safety & Health Program Elements

There are also four individualized general elements that are more specific in regards to safety and health programs. These four elements are:

  1. Worksite analysis: The work environment should continually be analyzed in order to identify all existing and potential hazards. The hazards within a workplace are subject to increase, decrease, or completely change at any time. 
  2. Hazard prevention and control: Methods to prevent, eliminate, or control the hazards in the workplace should be administered and maintained. 
  3. Safety training: Once again, safety training should provide the foundation for safety and health programs. Everyone involved in the organization should be trained on how to deal with and avoid worksite hazards. This includes managers, supervisors, and employees. 
  4. Continually train and refine: The workplace is always changing and evolving with time. A safety program should be able to change as often as the work environment does as well as adapt to potential hazards or holes within itself. 

As long as you repeat the steps consistently you will regularly reduce the number of potential injuries and illnesses in the workplace.

General Safety and Health Program Format

Every safety plan should have a format that is organized and well-labeled so it can be navigated easily by all personnel within the workplace. 

  • The cover page - This is simply a page containing the company name and logo, along with the title of the plan. This is an official component but provides no additional information. 
  • Table of contents - This page contains the page numbers of subsequent sections and subsections. 
  • Introduction - The introduction is usually the smallest section of the safety plan and includes the purpose of the safety plan. It is generally a statement of the company’s commitment to safety and what the safety plan seeks to accomplish. There can also be a reference list that contains the OSHA regulation(s) with which the safety plan seeks to comply. 
  • The safety program - This should be the largest section of the safety plan. It contains the procedures and resources necessary for guaranteeing safety when working with or around a particular hazard. Each aspect can be divided into subsections. For example, in a safety plan for fall protection, it would be good to provide subsections for guardrails and fall arrest systems.
  • Appendixes - The appendix can contain any additional information or statements that should be included in a safety plan. A good example is training requirements and topics. This may look like a statement that explains the company’s commitment to training its employees on the program components. 
  • Signatures of trained employees - This section is simply a list with spaces for an employee’s name, title, signature, and date that they completed the training. This is a good section to have in order to keep track of when employees were trained according to the safety plan. 

Other Safety and Health Program Components

Depending on the nature of the workplace, the individual components that are found within a safety plan will be different. Each safety plan also addresses a different aspect of safety in the workplace and does not need to contain every possible component. But to help give you some direction on what to include in your safety plan, some general components of an effective safety plan are:

  • The company policy concerning safety and health in the workplace
  • The roles and responsibilities of each employee
  • Employee information and training
  • Description of hazardous tasks (both routine and non-routine) 
  • Definitions of key terms included in the safety plan
  • Sections for each industry (This is if you want to put all topics in a single safety program or to cover a more general hazard, such as emergency situations or fire prevention.)

Hard Hat Training

There are lots of ways to accomplish safety training that are easy, affordable, and convenient. 

In the end, safety training should be a blessing, not a burden. That’s why we offer a selection of training methods so that you can choose the most convenient one for your company. 

Our Goal for Safety Training

Here at Hard Hat Training, our goal is to make safety training easy and affordable. Our vision is to help companies minimize accidents and fatalities through consistent, in-depth training. Our training materials are frequently updated, enabling us to offer the most thorough, up-to-date, easy-to-use, and OSHA-compliant training options on the market today.

OSHA-Compliant Courses

All of our courses comply with OSHA standards and contain all of the necessary safety information related to the specific training topic. Our learning development and quality assurance teams spend hours researching so that we can provide companies with the best and most vital information! 

Get Certified For Your Safety Programs

Our course catalog presents companies with over 200 training topics to choose from, and each course is fully narrated and organized to keep the mind engaged. There are a lot of ways to accomplish safety training that are easy, affordable, and convenient. We offer our courses in various learning formats. We offer in-person courses, online courses, and training kits, as well as our train-the-trainer courses. 

Onsite Trainers

We deploy designated trainers to particular worksites to conduct our in-person training, where they provide safety instruction to the staff. The main benefit of our on-site training is that our instructors can instruct staff members using the same tools that their employer employs in-house. Upon request, an in-person training session can be planned. For a free quote, visit our homepage!

Training Kits

Our training kits include a variety of instructional resources, giving instructors and trainees everything they need for their safety training. Education, evaluation, and certification are the three stages of the training process that each of our tools fits into. 

We have materials that can be used before, during, and after the course is taken for the educational component of the training process. The resources we give you are:

  • A comprehensive PowerPoint presentation with all the required safety information
  • A guidebook that covers safety subjects and can be used to review the instruction
  • Five "Toolbox Talks" that may be utilized for review

The resources we have at our disposal for the training process' evaluation phase include things like: 

  • Employees will be subjected to written tests covering all critical safety topics.
  • Answer keys for use in processing tests by employers.
  • Forms for practical evaluation that include all the details required for the training subject.

Our training bundle includes the following certificates:

  • A certificate of completion sample that can be modified to meet individual employee requirements.
  • For those employees who need to carry the certificate with them, a printable wallet card template is available.

The kits also include additional documents that reinforce the safety principles related to the particular training topic, such as written OSHA standards, a list of accident profiles, news clips, and safety posters. These documents are in addition to the training and testing materials.

Train the Trainer Courses

If you're like most people, the idea of investing in a training equipment could be a little scary. It can be challenging, and good teaching demands the right knowledge and abilities. You can purchase a train-the-trainer course in addition to our training kits to obtain a thorough understanding of the subject. 

To assist employers in becoming authorities in their profession, a train-the-trainer course is offered. The courses can be just a few hours long and offer a thorough examination of the topic of your choice. It concentrates on the subject matter you'll be instructing and how to do so in a way that an employee will understand. 

You will obtain a certificate after finishing the course certifying you as a safety trainer. From there, you'll be equipped to effectively guide your staff toward a workplace that is safer and more enjoyable. 

Online Training

Everyone has a lot of chances with our online courses. Employees have the freedom to monitor their own development and resume and stop as needed. For workers with busy schedules, this can be useful for time management. The ability for employers to monitor how far along their staff members are enables them to maintain tabs on who has or has not finished their safety training.

Our online courses also give you the option to administer or take the exam as soon as the course is finished. Employees can now take the exam while their memories of the material are still fresh. Our online courses are quick, efficient, and easy overall.

All of our courses are OSHA compliant and provide participants everything they need to stay safe while working. Courses include:

  • Quiz questions to review material
  • A test at the end of the course
  • Certificates for employees who pass the test
  • A program that allows employers to monitor employee progress and understanding 
"Stop training the hard way. Do it the Hard Hat Training way instead!"
— Arthur Lee, CEO