Safety management systems have been around for a while, and your company needs one. They help you improve your safety programs by creating a standardized process for the management of safety in your organization. There are several nationally and internationally recognized standards for the development of safety management systems, including OSHAS 18001 or ANSI Z10. Building your safety management system around one of these established standards can help your company:
- -Eliminiate or minimize risk to employees and other interested parties who may be exposed to occupational health and safety risks associated with your company's activities.
- -Assure compliance with your stated occupational health and safety policy.
- -Demonstrate your compliance to your clients and stakeholders.
- -Implement, maintain and continually improve your occupational health and safety management system.
- -Make a self-determination and declaration of conformance with the standard.
- -Seek certification/registration of your occupational health and safety management system.
OSHA is increasingly focused on safety management approaches to compliance, so implementing a safety management system under one of the established standards can put your company ahead of the game.
Here are six tips on how to implement a safety management system in your company:
- Secure the commitment of senior management. Setting up one of these systems takes between 12 and 24 months, and it could be another 18 months before you start to see results. Senior management commitment is necessary to keep the project going.
- Audit your existing safety procedures and practices against those that will be required under the standard so you know what to focus on first.
- Set up an implementation team who can focus on the project and keep it moving.
- Make sure roles, time lines and responsibilities are clearly outlined and tracked.
- Get your employees involved by offering communication, training and incentives.
- Review your management system on an ongoing basis so that you can continuously improve.