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Unexpected accidents can interrupt the working process and can cause injury and to a worst extent, death. Hazardous situations can result in loss of material possessions by individuals. In accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) statistics, an estimated six thousand people die from workplace injury, and another fifty thousand from work related problems. The cost of injury alone adversely affects the economy costing it an approximated one hundred and ten billion dollars annually. If individual workers find themselves facing unacceptable occupational risks they cannot simply withdraw from the market (Halbert and Ingulli 173).
Elements of a Comprehensive Safety/Hazard Communication Program
It is a safe program having the commitment to top management and. Well explained should be developed so as to help employees understand the need to have healthy working conditions, free from complications and laying down appropriate goals and objectives. The elements to be included when designing a safety plan include; assigning duty to administration of safety program, communicate safety measure to every individual of the organization and establish and enforce strict rules.
The five key steps in implementing the safety program include;
1. Conduct Safety Assessments/Inspections
A complete walk-through identifying essential components of the program is conducted by the top management. Among the items to be keenly looked at include; chemical containers, the ease of accessing the fuse boxes, fire extinguishers, noise levels and quality concerns.
Managers, employees and safety individuals should be involved in inspection of the departments. All a materials to be used as a safety measure should be availed to employees in training. Procedure and evacuation routes for Tornado and fire or earthquakes should be clearly demonstrated.
2. Identify Hazards
Using questions is the best way to assess the company’s potentials safety and health hazards and among the critical questions are;
Is there prevention maintenance program in place?
Are controls and work practices used together with personal protective equipment?
Have the physical hazard (electric shock, extreme temperatures and poor housekeeping) been reviewed and eliminated?
Have the chemical hazards (fumes, airborne particles and mist) been identified and exposure minimized?
Have ergonomic hazards been identified then addressed?
These are hazards that emanate from improperly designed tool and among them the manpower tools.
Is there any biological hazard that has been identified?
Is there a program for hazardous waste operations and response procedures for emergencies?
3. Establish Safety Rules
Employees should be embedded with efficient protection plans. Rules should regularly be reviewed to determine their essence and effectiveness. Because many safety rules are boring to employees and make no sense make sure they are up to date and the most relevant are implemented. Employees will always ignore the rules that make life inconvenient.
4. Train Employees
Having employees, supervisors and managers trained is the next component for training. All new employees should undergo this program and annual training should be arranged for current employees of the company. In cases where an employee has change task or duty in the organization, appropriate training is advised to facilitate safety operations in that particular new are of duty. This training ought to concentrate on hazard enlightenment, knowing and using the appropriate safety procedures.
5. Implement Thorough Record Keeping and Reporting Systems
The key to a successful safety program is documentation and allows for up to date information for management and manages to maintain compliance with such safety authorities among them OSHA.
OSHA requires every organization to post an OSHA poster that is meant to guide and remind employees of the safety measures they ought to undertake. A valid report should be submitted to the nearest OSHA offices concerning three or more injured or hospitalized employees. These should strictly be done within eight hours from the time of the accident. All companies with eleven or more employees should keep illnesses records for their employees. OSHA forms must be filled in the process. The newly rolled out OSHA rules affects firms with twenty or more employees and clearly stipulates the difference between illnesses and injuries.
Employee safety is a vital part of an organization and will determine the general atmosphere in the work place and to a larger extent company performance. These include maintaining interest in safety, expressing management's concern for employee safety, generating employee participation in safety activities, increasing morale and reminding employees to take special precautions (Jeanne 471).