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Safety Culture – Six Basic Safety Program Elements

If you run a small business, sometimes it is hard to keep up with all the rules and regulations. However, there are some very basic elements that must be implemented into a management system. One example is Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) Proposed ‘I2P2’ Rule.According to OSHA, the proposed rule will “require employers to develop and implement a program that minimizes worker exposure to safety and health hazards.”

No one really knows what the proposed rule will look like, but we can usually make a good guess. So, to help with some these Safety program elements, OSHA’s “Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines”, published on January 26, 1989 provides some limited guidance that you can follow.

In many of the voluntary programs, OSHA outlines five elements that will help you to create a successful management system. From my standpoint, although management and employee participation is complementary and forms the core of an effective safety and health program, I want to make sure that there is a clear and distinct difference between management of the operation and employee participation. It will be easier to implement a management system if you understand what OSHA is considering a model system and then expand on the model to fit the organization. The following are the core elements of an effective management system:

Management leadership
Employee participation
Hazard identification and assessment
Hazard prevention and control
Information and training
Evaluation of program effectiveness

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