OSHA requires every business with one or more employees to have a written safety manual (also known as IIPP or Injury, Illness and Prevention Program) in place.
Your safety manual must cover all aspects of OSHA standards and fines result if they are incomplete or outdated.
What is a safety manual?
A safety manual is a collection of information, instructions, policies, and procedures intended to ensure the safe operation of a device and safe conduct in the workplace.
How do you make an OSHA safety manual?
How to Write an OSHA Work Place Safety Manual
- Determine the type of job or industry your workplace is identified with.
- Create a list of all machinery, equipment and work tasks required in your company.
- Go to the OSHA web site and review it carefully.
- Use a simple heading description with the CFR number such as Personal Protective Equipment – 1926.28 ACTUAL COPY.
What is an OSHA manual?
The OSHA Technical Manual (OTM) provides technical information about workplace hazards and controls to OSHA’s Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs). This information supports OSHA’s enforcement and outreach activities to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women.
What is an OSHA safety plan?
An OSHA Safety Plan is a written plan that describes the potential hazards in the workplace, and the company policies, controls and work practices used to minimize those hazards. However, you may have specific workplace conditions or chemicals present that do require an OSHA Safety Plan.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA
Recommended Practices for
Safety and Health Programs
How Do I Get Started?
Whether you are a small start-up, an established business, or just ready to start managing safety in a responsible way, there are some simple steps you can take to kick off your safety and health program.
OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs provide you with a straightforward, stepwise approach to setting up your safety and health program. The approach is based around seven core elements, each of which are implemented by completing several action items.
You do not need to have every detail planned before getting started. Take your time deciding how to best complete each action item in a way that makes sense for your organization. You also do not need to proceed in a strictly sequential manner. Although there is some logic to the order they are presented in the recommended practices, there are some action items that can be completed at any time.
One of the first steps your organization can take is to review the 10 Easy Things to Get Your Program Started. This is a list of very basic items to start your workplace on the path towards responsible safety and health management.
If you need help, consider contacting OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program. Consultants from the program provide free assistance to small businesses that includes establishing and improving safety and health programs.
How to Write a Safety Report
According to HSE health and safety executive, “Managing health and safety is little different from managing any other aspect of your business. You need to do a risk assessment to find out about the risks in your workplace, put sensible measures in place to control them and make sure they stay controlled.” To control these risk factors and protect employees, every organization must prepare a complete safety manual. Safety of employees is of utmost importance to an organization for smooth functioning of the company. An appropriate safety manual will create a healthy environment for both the employer and employees.
Examine the risks for employees with different job descriptions. Risks for side operators are different from those employees who come in direct contact with hazardous material. For example, employees who manufacture a certain product face different risks than those who pack the product.
Check all the areas prone to accidents such as slippery areas, broken roofs, parking space and walkways. These areas can be unsafe if left unexamined; any repairs required should be performed as soon as possible.
Collect information for employee protection and safety. First-aid procedure should be easily available for all employees. Staff must be provided basic safety instructions such as washing body parts exposed to chemicals in hazardous areas. Also, specify safety equipment such as glasses and gloves where required.
Organize information into various sections for easy understanding by employees. Include procedures to follow in case of machinery malfunction. For example, if machinery is not functioning properly, employees should immediately report to the employer and call for machinery mechanics.
Make sure there is a procedure for proper disposal of waste material created by your company because it can be hazardous for the health of your employees.
Develop a written plan to avoid accidents. Teach employees quick ways to respond to an emergency situation like an accident or mishap. Make your employees aware about the fire-alarms, emergency exits and first-aid kits. Include safety guidelines for manufacturers who assemble machinery for the protection of employees.
List the procedure to be followed in case of employee accident and disciplinary measures in case of an accident. Include an emergency exit plan in the safety manual. Include instructions regarding ways to respond to an emergency situation like calling an ambulance and reporting to the employer.
Provide copies of the insurance forms for employee understanding in the safety manual. Make sure your employees know about the insurance policies in case of accidents.
Bind your manual with a three ring folder. It is a good practice to bind because any necessary changes can be easily added or omitted. Dividers can be used so that your employees can easily find the policies they want to read. The safety manual should also be available online for easy access.
Ask employees for the potential hazards they are facing individually.
For larger businesses a safety manual should be developed and created by an experienced team of health professionals, industrial hygienists and attorneys to provide an affordable method of compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standards and Regulations.
- “A Guide to Compliance for Process Safety Management/Risk Management Planning”; Frank Spellman; 1998
- “How to Develop an Employee Handbook”; Joseph Lawson; 1998
- “Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety”; International Labor Office; 1998
About the Author
Kevin Sandler started his writing career as an academic researcher in 2005, and has since than been involved in writing for various magazines and academic specialists including Academic Knowledge, Scholastic Experts and eHow, among others. His specialities include personal finance, investments, business and project management. He has a Master of Science in finance from Tulane University, and is actively involved in the finance profession.
How to Create a Safety Manual
Safety Plan Manuals are a convenient way to collect and distribute a company’s safety program. A safety plan manual can provide specific instructions about responding to emergencies. It can create a sense of identity within an organization. With some planning and preparation, you can write your company’s own safety plan manual.
Safety Plan Manual Basics
Review successful plans. This will give you a sense of the expected aspects of safety manuals. Safety manuals vary in depth and size. Gain a sense of how you want your safety manual to look.
Name your document, It can be a simple name such as Safety Manual, or complex like, Technical Aspects of the OSHA Standard Compliance of the XXX District Department #1. The name of the manual should identify it to your users.
Create a Cover Page. The Cover Page will contain the title. It is generally centered in the middle of the page.
Create a Covering Letter. It should be addressed to the reader, mainly employees, and serve as a statement from the owner or governing agency director, adopting the safety manual as an authoritative guideline. It should designate a specific Safety Director and provide contact information.
Break down the sections of the manual that will be discussed. Create the Table of Contents. This will generally be the last portion of the manual to actually be completed. Creating it initially will help you determine the different sections of the manual. You can always fill in the page numbers when you are finished.
If your organization holds major federal contracts, include your Equal Opportunity Employers Statement. According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the different areas that should be clarified is your organizations position of the following types of discrimination:
Age, Disability,Equal Pay/Compensation, Genetic Information,National Origin,Pregnancy,Race/Color,Religion,Retaliation,Sex, and Sexual Harassment
See References below,
Create a New Employee Safety Introduction. This will be a letter addressed to the employee and will familiarize them with your Safety Program.
Create a Safe Work Rules and Practices section and include Standard Job Procedures.
Include Corrective Action Policies and describe Safety Training plans and requirements.
Describe accepted and approved Personal Protection Equipment and Resources. Discuss Personal Control and Accountability
Create a Hazardous Materials section. This section will provide Material Safety Data Sheets of known hazardous materials. This section should also describe emergency action and designate key personnel that are trained and capable of responding to emergencies related to hazardous materials.
Review compliance guidelines with your state and local government to insure that you have covered all of the relevant areas of safety for your organization and industry.
OSHA Safety Manual was founded by an experienced team of Professional Safety Consultants, Doctors and Attorneys who came together to create an affordable, professionally written, OSHA Compliant Safety Manual that is second to none in the industry today. Our safety manuals can be personalized using your industry, state, and company specific safety details and we guarantee it will meet all Federal and State OSHA standards. Whether you do it yourself using our Download feature or we do all the work for you, our safety manuals have been reviewed and inspected by OSHA across the nation and we guarantee them to pass – hands down. Whether you are trying to address the federal regulations or one of the many state-specific regulations, OSHA Safety Manual has the knowledge and experience to help you understand the difference between the various obligations across the country. We provide more than just a “generic boiler plate” safety program, which can weaken the effectiveness of your safety documentation and leave you liable.
Our Downloadable Do-It-Yourself “Standard OSHA Safety Manual” (Chapters 1-32 is 490 Pages) covers the minimum OSHA standards for nearly all general industries. It covers a broad spectrum of businesses, including medical offices, dental offices, hospitals, restaurants, catering, small offices, churches, daycare, engineering contractors, hair and nail salons, janitorial, pharmacy, retail sales, warehousing, upholstery shops, veterinary offices, warehousing, wineries & vineyards and x-ray/imaging centers.
One of the nice things about our downloadable “Standard OSHA Safety Manual “is, it just takes a few simple steps and you can tailor this manual to fill the needs of pretty much any business out there, from high production manufacturing to food processing we’ve got you covered.
Questions or Concerns? Give us a call toll free at 800-347-1119
If you have a particular safety topic you need, that applies specifically to your business and you don’t see it listed in the “Table of Contents” for the “Standard OSHA Safety Manual”, all you need to do is take a look at the list of add-on chapters and add each necessary chapter. After 24 years in business we have an extensive library and if for some reason you don’t find the chapter you need listed, give us a call and we will write a custom chapter specific to your needs.
Not in a hurry? Step up to our “Pro Series” and let us do all the work for you. Our Pro Series Safety Manuals are custom, made to order, based on the information you supply us in the customization questionnaire. They are customized, company specific, safety manuals that include step by step Safety Training Programs and Safety Forms. They come in a sturdy three ring binder that makes any editing and updating a breeze. All Pro Series Safety Manuals include a digital copy in Word and PDF format along with your hard copy.
Our Pro Series A2 Safety Manual comes with double sided printing in black and white and is available with optional “Numbered Index Chapter Tabs” for quick and easy reference. There is also an option for adding your company logo.
If you are looking to set yourself apart from your competition, then our Pro Series A1 Safety Manual will do just that. It comes with a full color cover that includes your Company Logo and up to four photos of your business in color. It also includes “Numbered Index Chapter Tabs” for quick and easy reference.
Since 1991 OSHA Safety Manual has worked with thousands of companies both large and small helping them meet today’s tougher and more demanding workplace safety requirements and regulations–Saving Them Time and Money.
We can do the same for you!
We also offer a One Year Subscription Service that ensures that you stay updated on all the new OSHA regulations and changes within your OSHA compliant Injury, Illness and Prevention Program (your safety manual), as they happen throughout the year. The updates will be provided in digital format and emailed to you. A reprint hard copy of your OSHA Safety Manual is available at an additional cost. Please speak to one of our customer support specialists for pricing and additional information.
Questions or Concerns? Give us a call toll free at 800-347-1119
Need help with ISNetWorld® or other Third Party Compliance Companies? Learn how we can help you meet these requirements quickly and effectively.
Download any pieces you need to start building your safety plan.
Thanks for visiting our site. Feel free to ask us any questions for OSHA related matters. Although a custom safety manual is not free, please browse our site and gather any free information you need to build it yourself.
You will need the latest version of Adobe Acrobat and/or have a program to unzip the files. We recommend either; WinRar, 7zip or winzip . Please reach out to us if you have difficulty with any downloads. We are happy to send them to you directly.
Toolbox Topics (Toolbox Talks, Tailgate Safety Meetings)
The topics are intended for use of on-the-job safety training and meetings to educate employees of potential hazards and work-related injuries and illnesses. You should record all safety meetings and keep in the employee’s file.
Include are 80 topics in both English and Spanish. They may be viewed and printed as is or they may be customized with your company’s name and address.
Users with Microsoft Word have the further capability to modify the text of the meetings themselves, to make allowance for local conditions, for example, or to make specific reference to a new piece of equipment or a new technique or practice.
Download Tailgate Safety Meetings
OSHA’s Small Business Handbook
Rather build it yourself? If you’re looking for a safety manual template, a good place to start is with OSHA’s small business handbook.
This handbook is provided to owners, proprietors and managers of small businesses by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor. Assuming that you are committed to safe and healthful work practices, OSHA wants to work with you to prevent all losses. We believe that, when you make job safety and health a real part of your everyday operations, you will not lose in the long run. Investing in safety and health activity now will better enable you to avoid possible losses in the future.
This is meant to guide you through setting and implementing your policies. It is not a replacement for an IIPP or Safety Manual.
Download Small Business Handbook – PDF
Download Small Business Handbook – Word
Heat Illness Prevention
Outdoor workers who are exposed to hot and humid conditions are at risk of heat-related illness. The risk of heat-related illness becomes greater as the weather gets hotter and more humid. This situation is particularly serious when hot weather arrives suddenly early in the season, before workers have had a chance to adapt to warm weather.
FED OSHA does not have a specific standard that covers working in hot environments. Nonetheless, under the OSH Act, employers have a duty to protect workers from recognized serious hazards in the workplace, including heat-related hazards. This guide helps employers and worksite supervisors prepare and implement hot weather plans. It explains how to use the heat index to determine when extra precautions are needed at a worksite to protect workers from environmental contributions to heat-related illness. Workers performing strenuous activity, workers using heavy or non-breathable protective clothing, and workers who are new to an outdoor job need additional precautions beyond those warranted by heat index alone.
Download Heat Stress Training Guide
Download Heat Illness Prevention Training Slides
Training Plan Template
This sample employee training plan template is provided to assist you as an employer in developing a program tailored to your own operation. This is not a complete system. We encourage employers to copy, expand, modify and change the sample as necessary to accomplish this.
Training Plan Template
Dozens of Safety Signs. All signage viewable and printable via Acrobat Reader. Looking for something not listed? We’re happy to make it for you, no charge. Click and download however many you need for your business!
Self Inspection Checklist
Regular site safety inspections using site-specific checklists keep the workplace safe by identifying and correcting hazards in the workplace. Inspection frequency depends on the hazard level of the workplace; sites may need checks at every shift, daily, quarterly or annually. Document the inspection observations, identified hazards, and the corrective actions taken.
Here’s your OSHA Injury and Illness Prevention (IIPP) – Safety Training Handbook
Done-for-you in an easily customizable software template that you can implement in minutes
In the time it takes for an OSHA inspector to walk in your front door for a “courtesy visit” — actually looking for your company’s safety plan, you can have it printing before s/he fines you upwards of $7,000 for not having one!
I t may seem the “clear and present danger” is OSHA, but it really is necessary to create and maintain a safe and healthy work environment. By protecting your people, you protect valuable company assets, as well as prevent production downtime and the costs of lost-time hours.
Here’s what you and your people need to know and do — All in a nice handbook.
And it will keep OSHA out of your pocket!
The risk of getting a visit from OSHA is more likely than ever with increased enforcement actions. This informative software system will prepare you and your managers for an OSHA inspection, minimizing legal risks, headaches and, of course, injuries.
Over the last year OSHA has been rolling out several rule changes to update and tighten policies, showing its commitment to a more aggressive enforcement agenda. Don’t get caught unprepared, use Safety Plan Builder Illness & Injury prevention plan software to prepare your workplace for an OSHA Inspection.
“Using Safety Plan Builder can save a company thousands or even millions of dollars in reduced or avoided legal judgments. Believe me when I say that plaintiff attorneys just don’t want to come up against this type of written plan!”
Mark Thierman, Labor Law Attorney, San Francisco, CA
Click “Procedures” in the Middle-Menu Bar, See “Safety” Top/Middle
Safety Plan Builder software helps you publish a custom illness and injury prevention manual to quickly and easily comply with OSHA
(California SB-198 too), avoid lawsuits, train your employees, and provide a safe workplace.
I f you haven’t created your company’s safety program or you have been tasked with writing a safety plan, Safety Plan Builder is the place to start.
Menu-driven from start to finish, its organized system gives you a comprehensive Injury & Illness Prevention Plan manual that has been thoroughly proven. There are no new programs to learn — just click and edit.
- For Business Owners, Office Managers, HR Consultants, Safety Officers
- Click on 161 safe work practice categories
- Over 250 pre-written templates of industry-specific Safe Work Practices
- Check the boxes for each section you want to include in your final printed document
- Scroll through each section and edit for an exact fit to your business
- Customize with your own logo & images
- Insert your own content or create new sections
- Drag & drop sections to change the order
- Experts’ comments throughout each section guide you every step of the way, explaining issues and offering suggestions
- Cloud-based collaboration
- Share your plan online with consultants, partners and employees
- Export to Word or share on your website
“We’ve had Safety Plan Builder in the past and it’s a great product. It really saves time and money by providing all the research that you would have to do on your own and puts it into the correct format that OSHA understands and accepts. We highly recommend this product to anyone who needs to establish a Safety Plan for their business.”
Bruce Whitten, Fred’s Crane Service
Image copyrighted by Business Power Tools
T he federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) sets a national minimum standard for safety, but allows local jurisdictions to adopt standards which are at least as stringent. Under common law, as an employer, you are obligated to provide your employees with a safe place to work.
OSHA’s “General Duty Clause” states…
“Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.”
OSHA defines “recognized hazards” in its recently revised Field Operations Manual (FOM) for inspectors, and lists three ways in which a hazard qualifies as recognized:
- Employer recognition: This can be established by evidence of actual employer knowledge of a hazardous condition
- Industry recognition: A hazard is recognized if the employer’s industry is aware of its existence
- Common sense recognition: The FOM states, “Hazard recognition can still be established if a hazardous condition is so obvious that any reasonable person would have recognized it.”
As a business person, you must provide customers, vendors and other people who visit your company site with safe passage. As an owner or occupant of any property, you must maintain it in a condition safe for everyone who comes onto your property.
Besides obviously making everything right, what proof do you have that you are interested in safety and have done something about having a safe workplace? A written safety handbook can be your best defense against lawsuits…
“Well done! …I would emphasize the speed and anyone-can-do-it nature of the program. I think it’s a great product and I think it is a great step forward in our ability to provide safe and healthful places of employment.”
Jack Wright, Certified Safety Professional, Chattanooga, TN
How do you write a safety manual?
Method Two of Two: Writing the Safety Manual
- Use short sentences and short paragraphs with simple words.
- Write in the active voice.
- Avoid jargon. Use any necessary technical terms correctly, defining them in context where possible, and with simple, clear definitions otherwise.
- Explain acronyms.
- Explain symbols.
What is an OSHA safety manual?
OSHA requires every business with one or more employees to have a written safety manual (also known as IIPP or Injury, Illness and Prevention Program) in place. Your safety manual must cover all aspects of OSHA standards and fines result if they are incomplete or outdated.
What are the four basic elements for OSHA’s health and safety program?
An effective occupational safety and health program will include the following four main elements: management commitment and employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, and safety and health training.
Does OSHA require a written safety plan?
Federal OSHA requires written safety plans for more than 2 dozen specific workplace activities and more than a dozen chemicals. In addition, many states require some or all employers to develop comprehensive written safety plans or offer workers’ compensation discounts to employers that do so.
What is the purpose of a safety manual?
The purpose of the Health and Safety policies and procedures is to guide and direct all employees to work safely and prevent injury, to themselves and others.
How do you write a safety procedure?
Developing your Safety Procedures
- Justification – Ensure there is a genuine reason for writing a procedure.
- Identify User – Who will be the using the procedures and the task involved.
- Procedure Format – Use a simple and free-flowing method.
- Writing Style – Make sure you write for the intended user.
- Document Control.
What should a safety manual include?
Safe work practices will be detailed per the company’s operations, but some common ones in a safety manual include: Hazard communication.
Other administration tasks in the manual can include:
- OSHA inspections guidelines.
- Workplace violence.
- Theft prevention.
- Substance abuse.
- Safety orientation.
How do you start a safety program?
How to Build Your Safety Program
- Commit to workplace safety.
- Identify hazards and assess risks.
- Develop written programs and processes.
- Educate employees.
- Investigate/report all accidents and incidents.
- Evaluate safety processes each year.
Does OSHA require a safety officer?
Under the OSH law, employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace. Provide a workplace free from serious recognized hazards and comply with standards, rules and regulations issued under the OSH Act. Examine workplace conditions to make sure they conform to applicable OSHA standards.
What are the 5 elements of safety?
Five Elements of an Effective Safety Culture
- Responsibility. Companies with strong safety cultures share the value of responsibility.
- Accountability. Managers must be held accountable to lead by example each and every day.
- Clear Expectations. Safety expectations need to be set and communicated to everyone in the organization.
- Next Steps.
What are the three key elements of health and safety policy?
A health and safety policy is usually presented in three parts: the General Statement of Intent, the Organisation section, and the Arrangements section. The General Statement of Intent outlines the importance that the organisation places on health and safety and the commitment that can be expected.
What are the OSHA guidelines?
OSHA standards are rules that describe the methods that employers must use to protect their employees from hazards. There are OSHA standards for Construction work, Maritime operations, and General Industry, which is the set that applies to most worksites.
What are OSHA requirements for safety meetings?
OSHA recommends that employers prepare a program that addresses injury and illness prevention. Rules for meetings and record keeping are more stringent for companies in high-hazard industries, such as construction. Even a small general contractor is required to hold regular safety meetings.
How do I create a workplace safety plan?
Follow these five steps to create a workplace safety plan for your business:
- Step 1: Inspect and improve your worksite.
- Step 2: Conduct a job safety analysis.
- Step 3: Put it in writing.
- Step 4: Train your employees.
- Step 5: Analyze accidents.
Are OSHA guidelines mandatory?
OSHA standards are mandatory, enforceable rules that must be followed. OSHA guidelines are voluntary recommendations for compliance with general workplace safety and training initiatives where standards have not been defined. General OSHA guidelines appear in OSHA’s Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines.
The potential for fire is present in any workplace. But, if you’re aware of the causes and conditions, if you’re prepared, and if you think before you act, the risk of a workplace fire and its damaging effects – on you, your co-workers or your company – can be minimized.
Following good housekeeping practices is crucial to fire prevention. That means keep heating and electrical equipment clean, clear, and in good repair; regularly clean ducts and fume hood filters; keep ovens and ranges clean and free of spilled fats, sugar, sauces, etc.; keep paper products, aerosols, and other flammable materials away from heating elements; and store flammable liquids away from heat sources, exits or escape routes. To avoid electrically-caused fires, check, replace or have professionally fixed any appliance with frayed or loose cords and wires or cords that get hot during use. Avoid running cords or wires under rugs and carpets or near a heat source; and keep them out of doorways where they can become worn.
Ensure that fire protection equipment (i.e., sprinklers, smoke/heat detectors, alarms, fire hoses, fire extinguishers, and fire blankets) are maintained, available for use, and not impaired or concealed. Make sure fire extinguishers correspond to the potential risk. Know where they’re located and how to use them.
Besides training in fire prevention and protection, make sure you understand company emergency communication and evacuation procedures. Know the location of fire alarms and the telephone numbers for emergency response personnel. Report a fire, even if it seems minor. Fire fighters would rather arrive and find nothing to do than be called after it’s too late to save individuals or property. Keep in mind that all workers are responsible for preventing fires, but not everyone is expected to fight major fires. Fire fighting is best handled by trained professionals.
Takeaway: Standardization ensures that work is carried out in a safe and reliable way.
When it comes to safety, you don’t want anyone playing it by ear. You want standards.
Standards should be created for every work task and environment. Standard work instructions capture the safe way of carrying out the work. They provide control.
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No One Takes Chances in Airline Safety
Aviation is a great example of this. Traveling with an airline is extremely safe due to the level of standardization they use. Aviation sets the standard for safety standardization. This gives us confidence that the plane will stay in the sky until the pilot safely lands at the desired destination (learn more in To Err Is Human – But Not with an Aircraft).
When you’re jetting across the sky at 30,000 feet and traveling at over 400 miles per hour in a pressurized metal tube, it’s nice to know safety is the top priority.
Consider these aviation safety standards, just to name a few:
- Preflight checklist done before takeoff
- Standardized flight instructions from the tower
- Standardized landing and takeoff instructions in place at all airports
- Flight direction and altitude standards in place to prevent air collisions
- Emergency plans in place for flight emergencies
These measures ensure that the four million people who fly on commercial airlines each day get to their destination safely.
When I’m flying in a commercial jet, I would hate to be in a scenario where the pilot looks over at the copilot and says something like “I’m not sure about this situation, what do you think we should do?”
I don’t want any shooting from the hip on a plane – or at my workplace, for that matter. I want to remove variability and take control. We must design processes that are reliable and safe.
Standard Work Instructions Enable Success
We create standard work to enable success in safety and other key performance indicators such as cost, quality, and delivery. When things are going well and as planned, accidents are far less likely. That is what standard work provides: predictability, stability, consistency, and reliability (learn about Key EHS Performance Indicators Every Organization Needs to Track).
Standard work instructions (SWI) or standard operating procedures (SOP) captures the best way we know to do a task. Well designed and documented processes become our playbook.
Imagine someone asking you to bake chocolate chip cookies and you don’t have a recipe. How successful do you think you will be? Maybe you know your way around the oven better than I do, but without a method, I would probably make something that looks and feels more like a hockey puck than a cookie. Give me a recipe, though, and I can turn those ingredients into a dozen delicious cookies. SWI is just like that cookie recipe. It enables repeatable success. It removes variation.
Without standard work instructions, we’re left with the tribal knowledge circulates through the workplace and whatever we can glean from job shadowing. Those can help, sure, but they’re not reliable enough. You need SWIs.
How to Create Standard Work Instructions
Step One: List the Tasks
Have your employees (or yourself if you have no employees) list each task they perform throughout a shift.
Once that list is compiled, analyze it. Consider whether each task is necessary.
Step Two: Review the Tasks
For each identified task, write out step-by-step how the task is done. Capture the steps in pictures or video. Videotaping the process is a great way to study it with your team. I have done many SWI projects, and the video recordings almost always reveal waste and potential improvements.
Review the steps with your team. Is there a better way to complete the work task?
Step Three: Write Out the Instructions
Once you are sure you have the best version of the process, do the following:
- Write step-by-step instructions, with pictures if needed – the goal is to be simple yet complete
- Be sure to point out any key elements, such as the settings, the materials, or the tools that are used
- List all safety considerations and control measures (perform a hazard assessment on the tasks)
Step Four: Expand Your Standard Work Instructions
Expand your standard work instructions beyond functions. Set standards for work environments to improve safety and workflow.
When employees come to work, they should find themselves in a workplace that has these three things in place:
- Clean and safe work areas
- All the supplies needed to do their work (tools, materials, information, and so forth)
- A process that is under control (no firefighting at the start of the shift – they may spend all day trying to gain control)
We elevate safety by designing safe work processes and a safe work environment. Standard work instructions ensures that our efforts in creating those are maintained and sustained over the long term. They keep us from sliding backward.
People are more likely to get hurt when things don’t go according to plan. Do you have a plan? And are standard work instructions part of that plan? If not, it’s time to revise it.
Let’s follow the lead of the aviation industry and make standardization a central component of our approach to safety. And let’s start by implementing standard work instruction.
Nov 28 Creating an Effective Workplace Safety Manual
Many companies do not have a workplace safety manual, or if they do have one, it is often outdated or too long and complicated. This is unfortunate because a well thought out safety manual can help your business in many ways.
First, it can help prevent workplace injuries and illnesses and reduce claims and insurance costs. Second, a well-crafted manual improves legal and regulatory compliance. Third, it engages workers and improves productivity, which benefits business operations and your bottom line.
Here’s what you should consider when creating a safety manual for your company.
Make It Workplace Specific
Many companies offer safety manual templates, and they’re a great place to start. However, they don’t offer the detail you’ll need to make it really work for your business.
Create your manual specifically for your work environment, but use lay terms. Only include what is absolutely necessary – no fluff or filler. You want every person to understand what you’ve written so they can follow your safety message easily and routinely.
What To Include
Here are some general topics most companies include in their workplace safety manual.
General Health & Safety Policy – describes your company’s overall safety goal, major stakeholders such as employees, management, and regulatory bodies, and a brief description of how you see everyone working together towards safety.
Workplace Hazard Assessment – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to conduct inspections of all workplaces or tasks to determine if hazards are present that would require the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). They provide step-by-step procedures on their website. You can use this checklist to identify risks and equipment needs.
Company Rules – These are general rules that apply to all employees. Examples include wearing appropriate PPE when and where required, workers following safe work practices and safe job procedures in the workplace, maintaining good housekeeping, zero tolerance for theft or vandalism, etc. SafetyInfo.com provides a free customizable document to assist you with the process.
Safe Work Practices – Safe work practices are documents that outline how people should perform a task to minimize risk. These often include things such as using ladders, scaffolding, vehicles, forklifts, or other equipment. Here is an example from Virginia Tech on ladders.
Safe Job Procedures – are a series of specific steps to guide workers through a specific task from start to finish in order. Here is an example from OSHA on portable step-ladders.
Preventive Maintenance – companies in specific industries or ones that use certain equipment perform mandatory inspections, however voluntary inspections improve workplace safety for all businesses. Here is an example regarding reducing risk through preventive silica maintenance.
Training and Communications – describes how your company trains and communicates with workers. Here’s an example from Stanford Environmental Health & Safety.
Inspections, Investigations and Reporting – describes when, what, and how frequently you perform inspections, how your company investigates incidents, and the reporting procedure.
Emergency Preparedness – OSHA offers in-depth information describing what you need to do to protect employees in an emergency.
Records & Statistics – OSHA has very specific recordkeeping requirements. You can find information on who needs to keep records and which forms you need to submit on their website.
Companies may also want to include industry specific information, such as back injury prevention if your employees do heavy lifting. Businesses that work with chemicals often include their environmental policies, but all companies benefit from transparency.
Many businesses include information on their substance abuse prevention or health and safety committee, too. Employees are more likely to seek assistance when they know that your company has clear plans and designated representatives to handle their issues.
You may also want to include your claims management system to avoid confusion and to lay out the process clearly.
OSHA’s Small Business Handbook is an excellent resource to help you think of issues that may apply to your business and what to include in your safety manual. It also includes checklists and worksheets to help you draft policy statements and safe practices. You may also want to use their training manual template and develop it specifically for your business.
If your company does not have a workplace safety manual, start now. It is a top priority and at the center of your company’s safety system. If your safety manual is gathering dust on a shelf somewhere, dust it off and review it for clarity and accuracy.
Remember, it is important that you implement and monitor policies and procedures in all areas of your operation. Monitoring shows what works and what needs further attention.
The team at Gilbert’s Risk Solutions is focused on risk management. We can help you reduce your insurance costs, create a safer workplace, and streamline your processes.
We’re local and reliable and easy to talk to, so contact us to discuss your insurance needs. We’ve helped companies for over 160 years, and we’re here for your business, too. Let us show you how we can help.
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When creating a safety manual, the primary goal is to structure specific instructions around the operations of the company and the steps that employees are to take to perform their jobs safely and efficiently. This can usually be done by starting with three separate categories:
- General Employee Safety Policy
- Safe Work Practices
General employee safety policies are rules that everyone will follow at all times. These will include health, safety, general safety guidelines and an emergency response plan.
Administration will cover reporting and documentation. A big component of this category includes a list of how to address incidents, what employees are to do when an injury occurs and the proper procedures that need to be followed – such as filling out an accident investigation form, completing an employee statement form, witness statements and any medical authorization forms, would be beneficial pieces of data to gather.
Following an incident occurrence, it’s important to include the return to work program, to ensure an employee’s back to their regular work duty as soon as medically able. If the employee was injured due to not following the protocols the company has in place, a discipline policy is also something to cover, which outlines what’s to be expected and what won’t be expected that can lead to separation with the employee.
Other administration tasks in the manual can include:
- OSHA inspections guidelines
- Workplace violence
- Theft prevention
- Substance abuse
- Safety orientation
Safe work practices will be detailed per the company’s operations, but some common ones in a safety manual include:
- Hazard communication
- Motor vehicle safety
- PPE equipment
- Fall protection
- Bloodborne pathogens
- Tools/machine guarding
- Lifting and material handling
In summary, a safety manual should cover how to keep all employees safe while working for the company. Once the manual is customized, each employee should sign that he/she has read, and understands, these rules. Policies and procedures should be reviewed with every new employee as well as reviewed by the most experienced individual – as following proper safety rules will always result in employees going home the same way as they came to work.
For further consultation on safety reach out to the ‘A’ Team!
If you’re an employer of any size, it’s important to prioritize workplace safety in order to protect both your employees and your financial assets. Fortunately, there is a simple method for developing a viable workplace safety program. Here’s an easy formula for designing and implementing a workplace safety program.
Step 1: Demonstrate Company’s Commitment to Workplace Safety
The best way to start spreading awareness about the importance of workplace safety is to make it a company-wide value. WorkSafeMT suggests adding a clause about the prioritization of safety in the company’s mission statement. This step mostly concerns management, at first, as they must reflect these values in word and action. This doesn’t just mean verbally encouraging employees to follow proper safety procedures, but also conducting a thorough investigation of each and every workplace accident.
Step 2: Assess Workplace Risks and Hazards
Next, you need to get a proper assessment of everyday hazards specific to your workplace. In addition to receiving a professional assessment, management should also release a company-wide survey to give employees the opportunity to express risk concerns anonymously. It’s important to get employees’ opinions as well. Since the employees work in these conditions every day, they can often give insight about risks that aren’t obvious to the untrained eye. During both professional and employee assessments, make sure to create a distinction between workplace hazards (building design/layout), activity hazards (machinery-related), and environmental hazards (air quality/health risks).
Step 3: Create a Written Protocol for Employees
Once you’ve accurately assessed all workplace hazards, you can start creating the guidelines for your safety program. According to WorkSafeMT, “to create a safety culture that exhibits accountability, employee job descriptions must be clear and in writing, and must state specifically the issues and requirements regarding safety and health responsibilities. Having these requirements in writing is critical because it greatly reduces opportunities for ambivalence and misinterpretation.”
Step 4: Emphasize Employee Education
After you’ve created your business’s workplace safety guidelines, it’s time to get employees on board. Employee training is always done when the employee is first hired, but a good rule of thumb is to train employees on any new changes in procedure — after an employee transfer, upon receiving new equipment, and upon noticing new hazards. A sporadic refresher can also help employees stay up-to-date on the latest procedures.
Step 5: Implement and Evaluate
This was touched on briefly earlier, but it’s critical to make sure to investigate all workplace accidents, no matter how minor they may be. More often than not, these incidents are entirely preventable, and it’s important to determine the cause in order to come to a safer solution in the future. As unfortunate as these accidents are, they provide a chance to make working conditions safer for employees in the future. You should also continue to make employee feedback a priority, even if it is anonymous. Workplace duties are always evolving, and new safety risks can present themselves faster than most employers realize.
Ultimately, following these steps will help any business to develop and implement a viable and effective workplace safety program. The most important part of implementation is to create and sustain an open flow of communication between employees and employers.
About the Author
Trey Trimble is the CTO of Transportation Safety Apparel . “TSA is a family business that I have been involved with since the beginning in 2001. I am well versed about both the transportation safety industry and the technology industry. I’ve done all kinds of different jobs with TSA, from customer service and marketing to Magento Software Development. My professional education is Computer Engineering from Clemson University, go Tigers!”
With proper safety training and an air-tight safety program in your workplace, you won’t have to write too many incident reports. However, sometimes things slip through the cracks and it results in an incident or near-miss . When this happens, it’s not only mandated by OSHA to report it, but it can be imperative in future prevention of like incidents.
The best way to go about reporting an incident is to fill out an incident report and using a safety software for recordkeeping. The following steps will help you to write an effective incident report that covers all of the necessary elements needed for further action.
1. Respond in a timely manner
You should begin to gather the details almost immediately after receiving news and becoming aware of the incident. This will help you gather details that are fresh in the minds of those involved, and will help you be able to piece together the factors involved in the incident’s occurrence.
2. Gather all of the details and facts
Having all the facts is important in being able to decipher what caused the incident and how it can be prevented in the future. It’s also necessary for business insurance purposes and to help make decisions in the final stages of analysis. Critical facts of the incident to include are:
- The date and time it occurred
- The specific location of the incident
- All of those who were involved and their immediate supervisors
- Title of their position
- The department of employees involved
- Their immediate supervisor(s)
- Names and accounts of those who witnessed the incident
- The series of events that took place leading up to the incident
- What the employee(s) involved were doing at the exact time of the incident
- The environmental conditions of the location in which it occurred
- For example, were the floors slippery? Was the area cluttered? Was there a lot of noise? Etc.
- The circumstance or materials involved when it took place
- For example, the tools, machinery, equipment or PPE that was involved.
- The specific injuries that were sustained to the involved parties, and what area of the body were affected
- The treatment that was administered to the employees who were injured
- Any and all damage to the equipment, materials, areas, etc.
Another resource that is beneficial for documenting events is to take pictures of where the incident took place. Note the conditions of the area and the scene(s) of the incident. If available, CCTV footage is another avenue of reviewing the chain of events that led to the incident.
3. Piece together the sequence of events
Piecing together the sequence of events will help determine which factors were involved and how they were involved at the time the incident occurred.
- The details of the events leading up to the incident.
- What specific actions the employee was doing prior to the incident
- What materials, tools, equipment was involved
- Determine what was involved in the incident.
- What exactly happened to the employee
- How they were injured
- Why they were injured
- Identify what happened after the incident.
- What did the employee do after the incident
- What kind of reaction did they have
- How did they signal for help if they were able to
- How was it discovered that the incident occurred
The details gathered above should be specific enough so that anyone reading the report can seamlessly create a story in their mind, and can, therefore, view the incident as a whole. It often helps to create a diagram to start to visually analyze the incident.
4. Analyze your findings of the incident
You can now begin to create an in-depth analysis of what caused the events, the factors involved, and ultimately answer the “why” of the incident. With the details you gathered, you should be able to speculate the following items:
- The primary cause (Ex: a machine that wasn’t locked out released hazardous energy)
- The secondary causes (Ex. an employee did not check to see if the machine was locked out prior to maintenance)
- Additional factors (Ex. Employees haven’t received their refresher lockout tagout training )
5. Formulate a preventative action plan
An incident report is useless without a plan to correct actions for future prevention. Every incident is a hard lesson that has yet to be learned or has been overlooked. The following items are examples of areas that may need correcting based on the facts surrounding the incident:
- Adequate employee safety training
- Adequate and proper maintenance of machinery, equipment, workspace, etc.
- Re-evaluating standard operating procedures regarding certain jobs, and re-assessing how they should be carried out
- Identifying and conducting a job hazard analysis (JHA) to thoroughly cover all risks associated with certain job tasks, and carrying out the necessary safety training.
- Operational changes and adjustment that include more thorough safety measures, such as adding additional safety equipment, changing procedures, etc.
A good incident report identifies the problem using in-depth analysis and research and offers a viable solution to that problem. A thorough, well-prepared report will accurately pinpoint what corrective action is necessary so that you may prevent future incidents and keep your team safe!
Fundamental legal obligation
With heightened scrutiny over workplaces and increased penalties for workplace incidents causing injuries—or worse, death—employers must ensure they understand their obligations under occupational health and safety legislation. One of the fundamental obligations is to prepare workplace health and safety policies and procedures and to train employees and supervisors on them. But where to start?
What do the health and safety law and regulations say?
All jurisdictions in Canada have OHS legislation and regulations. The laws are usually called the Occupational Health and Safety Act, in Manitoba, the Workplace Safety and Health Act, in British Columbia the Workers’ Compensation Act, or something similar. The rules may differ slightly across the country but the principles are the same: all workplace parties have responsibilities with respect to maintaining a healthy and safe work environment. Employers’ and supervisors’ duties are especially important.
Employers generally must ensure the workplace and work equipment are safe and the health and safety policies and procedures are being followed. Supervisors must ensure workers can and are doing their jobs safely and in accordance with the health and safety policies and procedures, and that workers are aware of dangers. Where the law demands, a joint health and safety committee must be in place to further ensure policies are in place and being followed.
Other laws are also relevant to workplace health and safety, including workers’ compensation legislation, human rights law and the Criminal Code of Canada.
What should be included in a health and safety policy manual?
Any policy that affects worker health and safety may be suitable to include in a company health and safety policy manual, but at a minimum, employers should include policies and procedures on these topics:
- Health and safety policy statement
- Accident and injury reporting
- Accident investigations
- Personal protective equipment
- Joint health and safety committees
- Workplace violence and harassment
- Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS)
- Safety orientation and training
- Workplace safety inspections
- First aid arrangements
- Equipment lockout
- Emergency plans
- Driver licensing program for in-plant vehicles, if appropriate
- Health and safety monitoring and reporting
There may be many more issues you’ll wish to cover in your policy manual, such as:
- Drugs and alcohol
- Working alone
- Cellphone use
- Civil emergencies and business interruptions
- Scented products and environmental sensitivities
- Return-to-work programs
- Pandemic planning
- Working from home
You can find sample policies and procedures on all of these topics, specific to your province, in Human Resources PolicyPro ® , published by First Reference.
Before you begin building or reviewing your OHS policy manual
An employer developing a health and safety policy must understand its importance. It must be reviewed annually and updated where necessary. Failure to act in accordance with the employer’s own policy can expose the employer to significant and legal financial risk.
Training employees and supervisors in health and safety matters is a never-ending responsibility. Consider appointing one fully trained person to be in charge of health and safety matters and assign responsibility to that person to act on behalf of senior management in this serious matter.
Procedures should be developed to train new hires and for “refresher” training when new equipment or hazardous materials are introduced in the workplace. Workers should understand their rights and obligations under the law and regulations. Pay particular attention to casual, student or summer employees, who sometimes fall between the cracks on matters related to safety training. Some of the worst industrial accidents have involved young employees who have never worked in an industrial setting before and are unaware of the possible consequences of ignoring the rules.
Given the potential penalties for a breach of the law or regulations and because OHS law places a duty on employers to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers, an employer must be able to demonstrate the serious efforts made to comply with the law. Accordingly, health and safety should be a regular agenda item for operational and/or staff meetings. In safety-sensitive industries, senior officers, executives and directors should be regularly briefed regarding these items and any queries or action items arising from the meetings should be carefully noted and acted upon.
Consider creating a “health and safety budget” to implement policy. This budget can cover matters such as training, first aid equipment, audit reviews or repairs required to make the workplace safer.
Criminal negligence charges could be laid under the Criminal Code if an individual or organization does not heed the legal duty to prevent bodily harm to an individual performing work or tasks. If found guilty, penalties could range from a significant fine to a prison sentence up to and including life imprisonment.
Conclusion: employees’ health, employers’ liability
While all workplace parties must work together to reduce the risk of occupational injury or disease, employers have the ultimate responsibility for creating a safe and healthy work environment. Massive fines and even jail sentences have become a reality for organizations that neglect this responsibility.
I’ve outlined the basic factors to consider when creating a workplace health and safety manual, but every workplace is different and will require different policy considerations.
You can find detailed health and safety policy samples that cover the legal requirements for your province in Human Resources PolicyPro ® , published by First Reference and reviewed by top employment lawyers. Always up to date, the PolicyPro software offers health and safety policy examples that you can use as the basis to easily build your own custom policy manual. Try it free for 30 days!
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created by Congress to enforce standards for safe and healthful working conditions in the workplace. These standards are cited as government documents when referenced in research papers, whether the document was obtained in print or online. The essential pieces of information to include in these citations are the organization’s name, regulation name and title number, date of publication and location of the source.
In American Psychological Association style, write the full name of the organization, in this case, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, followed by the acronym in brackets. After the date in parentheses, write “Regulations” without the quotation marks followed by the regulation title in parentheses. If you looked up this source online, include the website URL after “Retrieved from.” If there was a digital object identifier, or DOI, assigned, you would replace the URL with “doi:” followed by the DOI number. If this reference came from a print source, use the “City: Location” format in place of “Retrieved from” and the URL. A References page citation of an OSHA document would follow the example:
Occupational Safety & Health Administration [OSHA]. (2012). Regulations (Standards-29 CFR 1910.1200). Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=10099
For in-text citations, write: “(Occupational Safety & Health Administration [OSHA], 2012)” without the quotation marks on first reference; write “(OSHA, 2012)” without quotation marks in subsequent citations.
The citation in Modern Language Association format includes the same information as the APA citation, but it includes the exact title of the regulation in quotation marks. Writing “Web” followed by the date indicates that you obtained the regulation online. Write “Print” after the OSHA acronym and publication date to indicate the regulation was obtained from a print source. A Works Cited page reference in MLA format would follow the example:
OSHA Plans is an industry leader in ISNetworld compliance and management. Our experienced staff and credentialing for your ISNetworld compliance. We offer a complete solution for your regulatory and safety requirements. more>>
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OSHA Plans and Manuals LLC developed and utilizes the STOP Accidents Safety Program for the protection of all employees and to help keep your company free of accidents, injuries, and expensive fines. The manual and safety plans have been developed to meet or exceed all current federal OSHA safety plan requirements in all fifty states. This includes the special safety requirements outlined in the CAL/OSHA General Industry Safety Orders, which incorporate the requirements of Section 3203 “Accident Prevention Plan”, and the safety program requirements under SB198.
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Comprehensive site-specific and activity-specific safety plans or safety manuals will be prepared in your company’s name to your specifications as per the following Development Form to be electronically shipped to you within 24 HOURS. If you require your safety plans immediately, we can provide an expedited printed version within three working days.
The following individual elements are included in the Premier Safety Program Manual. By combining the basic safety plans with the specific activity chapters, you will have a complete safety plan that complies with all Federal and State requirements.
OSHA Plans and Manuals LLC offers STOP Accidents Safety Program which includes all of the items listed above – getting you in compliance with basic Federal and State regulations. It is IMPORTANT to understand that you will still need additional policy and procedure chapters for each of your company’s specific activities.
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- On-Line Training Courses
- Various Safety Training Programs
- On-Site Walk Through, Audits & Risk Evaluations
- Safety Posters
- P.P.E. (Personal Protective Equipment)
- First Aid Kits
- Annual Subscription Plans to manage OSHA and 3rd Party updates.
Have you ever been fined by OSHA? If so then you know it can be a stressful and scary experience that can literally put you out of business. If a fine of thousands or tens of thousands of dollars doesn’t put you out of business then consider the impact of the negative publicity you can receive in today’s world of social media for violating OSHA’s safety regulations.
OSHA requires every business with one or more employees to have a written safety manual (also known as IIPP or Injury, Illness and Prevention Program) in place. Your safety manual must cover all aspects of OSHA standards and fines result if they are incomplete or outdated.
Questions or Concerns? Give us a call toll free at 800-347-1119
Getting caught without a Safety Manual could cost you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in fines, not to mention the nightmare of not having one when OSHA shows up at your door. Remember, when it comes to the safety of your employees, being OSHA compliant is not only a good idea… it’s the law!
At OSHA Safety Manual, we are passionate in our belief that companies who manage their worker’s health and safety properly through OSHA required safety training and safety programs are positioned to operate their companies more efficiently, through increased worker retention and lower risk of OSHA citations, which typically results in a greater bottom-line profit. The National Safety Council reported that studies show for every $1 that an employer invests in safety, a $3 to $6 return on investment is realized!
OSHA Safety Manual was founded by an experienced team of Professional Safety Consultants, Doctors and Attorneys with one common goal in mind, to ensure that all employees, who go to work, come home to their families the same way they left, Safe and Unharmed.
Our team of professionals came together to create an affordable, professionally written, OSHA compliant safety manual that is second to none in the industry today. Every manual we create is customized using your industry, state, and company specific safety details and we guarantee it will meet all Federal and State OSHA standards.
OSHA Safety Manual provides more than just a ”one-size-fits-all” safety manual which can weaken the effectiveness of your safety documentation and leave you liable. For over 24 years we have developed safety manuals and safety handbooks that help establish effective lines of communication between employer, employee, and client.
OSHA Safety Manual is also an industry leader in Contractor Compliance (*ISNetworld®, PEC, AVETTA – PICS, BROWZ™). ISNetworld®, along with AVETTA – PICS, PEC and BROWZ™ offers data management of contractors and suppliers to owner-clients. By collecting and verifying safety, procurement, quality and regulatory data, these programs allow owner-clients to save time and other resources while finding the right fit for the job. If you need immediate help with *ISNetworld®, PEC Premier, AVETTA – PICS, Browz™ or others, or are thinking about setting up an account, OSHA Safety Manual can help you accomplish this.
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Safety is no accident. Every worker has the right to a safe working environment. Every worker has the right to be properly trained. Every worker has the right to refuse unsafe work. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that all work tasks meet minimum safety requirements.
If you want to skip all the verbiage, you can go straight to the download now (opens a new window).
Warning Signs that a Worksite is Unsafe
- There is no direct supervision of workers.
- Training is non-existent or not adequate.
- Orientation is not given to new workers.
- Equipment is in poor working condition, or old and unkempt.
- Floors are messy, dirty, or slippery.
- There are no warning signs or posters, e.g. helmets must be worn, etc.
- Injuries occur regularly.
- Protection equipment is not used and/or is not provided.
- Teamwork is non-existent, e.g. when something heavy needs lifting.
Safety can be achieved through a systematic approach to evaluating risks and seeking solutions to eliminating them. This begins with all members of an organization that wish to create a safe and productive work environment.
Although it may seem that increasing safety on the job will cost more, in the long run it is financially worse if someone becomes injured or killed, especially if there are legal repercussions, which many times there are. All employers, managers, etc., are responsible for what happens to their workers.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an agency of the United States Department of Labor, was created on December 30, 1970. Formed under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, its mission is to ensure safe and healthy conditions at workplace in order to prevent work-related illness, injuries, diseases and wrongful deaths by setting and implementing safety standards and by educating people by providing training and assistance.
Who Is Covered Under OSHA Regulations ?
OSH Act covers both employers and employees in most private and public sector workplaces either directly through federal OSHA or through an OSHA approved State Program. These regulations are industry-specific and task-specific to prevent or reduce workplace hazards or accidents resulting in illness, injuries or deaths in severe cases. The guidelines help employers recognize risk factors at workplace and take steps to control them. On the other hand, OSHA guidelines also take care of employees rights.
The self-employed persons, employees of State and local governments except those who work in one of the states with OSHA-approved safety and health programs, people employed in mining, nuclear energy production and nuclear weapons manufacturing and other segments where working conditions are regulated by Federal Agencies and farms where only family members are employed are not covered by OSH Act.
What Does OSHA Safety Manual Include ?
OSHA publishes a Safety Manual that is developed by an experienced team of doctors, attorneys and safety consultants. The manual includes detailed information about OSHA, its policies and procedures, OSHA standards, regulations as well as legislation. In addition to this, it also contains guidelines about Health & Safety Procedures, Industries Covered under OSHA, Basic Provisions and Requirements, Federal OSHA standards, Risk Assessment Forms and Instructions, Health and Safety Policies, Employee and Employer Rights and Responsibilities, Codes of Practice, Workplace Inspection, Penalties, Hazard Tables, Appeals Process and Relation to State, local and other Federal laws.
What Is OSHA Checklist ?
OSHA Safety Inspection Checklist is designed specially for the employers to help them meet OSHA safety requirements at workplace. It covers various regulations that apply to almost all businesses such as sanitation requirements, aisle way requirements, exit route signs, information about nearby toxic substances and radiations, fire alarm systems with fire sprinkler systems and their maintenance, maintenance of workplace injuries and work-related illness records, pasting safety posters with emergency contact numbers and regular inspection of power tools, equipments, air compressors and lighting system.
The employers covered under OSHA directly or indirectly need to look over their workplaces and meet OSHA safety requirements to avoid any legal action against them. They should carefully go through the OSHA Safety Inspection Checklist, arrange for required provisions and get a safety inspection done.
OSHA Training And Education
Every year OSHA identifies the areas where OSHA standards for safety and health in workplace are not met. The organization sends them notice to conduct training and educational programs for workers. It also invites grant applications form non-profit groups and other organizations to address these needs. It provides funds to them so that they can reach out to their employees and conduct workplace training and educational programs. OSHA also offers consultation assistance to employers for establishing and maintaining a safe workplace.
Workplace health and safety is both the moral and legal responsibility of most employers. Whether you’re working in an office or in a manufacturing warehouse, any type of workplace has its share of hazards. It is important for employers to thoroughly assess and effectively address each issue. This means performing a job safety analysis, providing education and training for your employees, supply appropriate PPE at no cost to the worker, removing or controls hazards, and cultivating a culture of safety.
Countries and institutions research, regulate, and standardize the workplaces all over the world to keep those earning a paycheck safe and healthy. Most companies find when safety is put first, there is an improvement in employee morale, and even productivity.
Covering a number of international topics with a focus on OSHA’s role in workplace safety, we invite you to explore the most commonly asked questions related to occupational health and safety; it could save your workplace!
As you browse through our list of different topics, you will see that there are answers to lots of different types of questions related to workplace safety. You can learn about things such as:
- Regulations and Enforcement – Explore how regulations are enforced and the organizations behind the development of standards.
- Personal Protection Equipment for Workplace Safety – Personal protection equipment, or PPE, is an important safety consideration for any workplace.
- Workplace Safety Training – We will look at different ways you can improve the safety in your facility and the kind of training needed for employees.
- Visual Communication Advantages – Implementing visual safety standards like floor markings, labels, and signs can help to prevent accidents and injuries.
- Much More – There are many other subjects covered in this Q&A segment focused on workplace safety.
A Safety Plan is a written document that describes the process for identifying the physical and health hazards that could harm workers, procedures to prevent accidents, and steps to take when accidents occur. Written safety plans can be comprehensive, such as an injury and illness prevention program, or they can be specific to a particular activity, hazard, or piece of equipment. The written safety plan is your blueprint for keeping workers safe. Many organizations compile their activity-specific safety plans into a single safety manual.
Federal OSHA requires written safety plans for more than 2 dozen specific workplace activities and more than a dozen chemicals. In addition, many states require some or all employers to develop comprehensive written safety plans or offer workers’ compensation discounts to employers that do so. Many organizations adopt voluntary safety plans to prevent injuries and illnesses, increase worker productivity, prepare for special emergencies, and enhance workplace security.
Out of all of OSHA’s many safety rules, there are 16 for general industry workplaces that require written plans or procedures and 10 written construction safety plan requirements for the construction industry. There are also requirements for written safety procedures for over a dozen hazardous substances listed under Subpart Z of the general industry rules for Toxic and Hazardous Substances, such as asbestos, lead, and benzene.
Activities or safety programs for which OSHA requires a written safety plan include:
- Hazard Communication (29 CFR 1910.1200(e)) plan for facilities where workers could be exposed to hazardous chemicals. Failure to have a written hazard communication plan is a very frequently cited OSHA violation
- Emergency Action Plan and Fire Prevention Plan (29 CFR 1910.38 and 29 CFR 1910.39)
- Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan (29 CFR 1910.1030(c)) at facilities that anticipate employee exposure to blood
- HAZWOPER Safety and Health Plan (29 CFR 1910.120(b))
- Respiratory protection(29 CFR 1910.134(c)) for workplaces where employees are required to use respirators
- Hazardous energy control (lockout/tagout) (29 CFR 1910.147(c)) program to prevent injuries during equipment service and maintenance
- Permit-required confined space plan (29 CFR 1910.146(c)(4)) for any facility that allows entry to permit-required confined spaces
OSHA recommends that each written plan include the following basic elements:
- Policy or goals statement
- List of responsible persons
- Hazard identification
- Hazard controls and safe practices
- Emergency and accident response
- Employee training and communication
Safety.BLR.com® has over 70 customizable prewritten safety program templates and more than 150 associated forms as well as up-to-date analysis of the OSHA regulations that affect you. All of the safety plans, forms, and training resources are available to you in several timesaving formats:
- Automated Plan Builder tool
- Customizable prewritten health and safety plans
- Reporting, recordkeeping, and training forms
- Hazard assessment and evaluation tools
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Workplace Safety Procedure OSHA
The Workplace Safety Procedure provide methods for the evaluation and maintenance of a safe working environment. The workplace safety procedures ensures there are proper methods for handling injuries and define subsequent reporting requirements.
The prevention of occupationally induced injuries and illnesses is a management priority and will be given precedence in all operational matters. The company should not knowingly allow unsafe conditions to exist, or permit employees to participate in unsafe activities. The Workplace Safety Procedures apply to all employees and departments of your company. (32 page, 9362 words)
Workplace Safety Responsibilities:
The CFO (Chief Financial Officer) should examine and certify the annual summary of work-related injuries and illness report.
The Human Resources Manager should act as the company’s designated Safety Coordinator and be responsible for implementing and maintaining the company’s safety program as well as inspecting supplies in the first aid kit.
The Purchasing Agent should be responsible for obtaining and updating MSDS’s and is responsible for replenishing supplies in the first aid kit.
Workplace Safety Definitions:
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) – a detailed information bulletin prepared by the manufacturer or importer of a chemical that describes the physical and chemical properties, physical and health hazards, routes of exposure, precautions for safe handling and use, emergency and first-aid procedures, and control measures.
ANSI – stands for the American National Standards Institute which is non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. standardization assessment system including certification efforts of third-party manufacturers to ensure conformance with industry standards.
Workplace Safety Procedure OSHA Activities
- Worksite Analysis
- Hazard Prevention and Control
- Hazard Communication Program
- Medical Emergencies
- Workplace Safety Training
- Reporting and Record Keeping
- Additional Information Resources
Workplace Safety Procedure OSHA Forms
A safe work environment should be everyone’s goal. Accordingly, all employees are encouraged to evaluate their work methods and areas for potential safety hazards and/or ideas for improving workplace safety. Employees with ideas for accident prevention should complete a safety suggestion sheet and review with their project manager and forward to the company’s Safety Coordinator for follow-up.
The OSHA Job Safety & Health Protection poster will be displayed on the company’s bulletin board as a reminder to all employees of the importance of worksite safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) is designed to ensure that your company provides safe and healthful working conditions for your employees.
What OSHA Means to Your Company
- Your company must furnish to each employee a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to your employees.
- Your company must comply with all occupational safety and health standards promulgated under the Act.
- Your employees must comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to the Act which are applicable to his own actions and conduct.
- Your company is required by law to display the Occupational Safety and Health Act poster (available in PDF or TXT format) in conspicuous places in all Company locations.
Your employee policies and procedures should address HR compliance issues like OSHA recordkeeping. The OSHA Recordkeeping Advisor helps employers and those responsible for organizational safety and health quickly determine:
- Whether an injury or illness is work-related;
- Whether a work-related injury or illness needs to be recorded; and
- Which provisions of the regulations apply when recording a work-related injury or illness.
To help you determine what action(s) to take, the OSHA Recordkeeping Advisor leads you through an online questionnaire. This Advisor is one of a series of online compliance assistance products from OSHA.
The elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisor is developed by DOL to help employers and employees understand federal HR employment laws. For a complete list of elaws Advisors, visit the elaws web site. To learn more about DOL’s occupational safety and health program, visit the OSHA web site.
The purpose of this safety policy and procedure is to establish guidelines for the safe use of ladders throughout (COMPANY) by employees, contractors and visitors. Ladders are used when employees need to move up or down between two different levels. Slips, trips, and falls are significant contributors to COMPANY’s accidents. Slips, trips, and falls can occur when wrong ladder selection is made and when improper climbing techniques and/or defective ladders are used.
At COMPANY, the appropriate ladder will be used for the corresponding job and defective ladders will not be used. When hazards exist that cannot be eliminated, then engineering practices, administrative practices, safe work practices, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and proper training regarding ladders will be implemented. These measures will be implemented to minimize those hazards to ensure the safety of employees and the public.
This safety policy and procedure is established in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry (29 CFR 1910.25-27) and Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the Construction Industry (29 CFR 1926.1053).
Managers/Unit Heads: Managers/Unit Heads are responsible for ensuring that adequate funds are available and budgeted for the purchase of ladders in their areas. Managers/Unit Heads will obtain and coordinate the required training for the affected employees. Managers/Unit Heads will also ensure compliance with this safety policy and procedure through their auditing process.
Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that all ladders (fixed and portable) are regularly inspected and properly maintained. They will also be responsible for tagging ladders in need of repair and removing defected ladders from service for repair or destruction. Supervisors will audit for compliance with this safety policy and procedure during their facility and jobsite audits.
Employees shall comply with all applicable guidelines contained in this safety policy and procedure. Employees are also responsible for reporting immediately suspected unsafe conditions or ladders to their supervisor. Employees are to inspect ladders before using and are to keep ladders clean and in good condition.
Safety and Loss Control
Safety and Loss Control will provide prompt assistance to managers/unit heads, supervisors or others as applicable on any matter concerning this safety policy and procedure. Additionally, Safety and Loss Control will assist in developing or securing of required training. Safety Engineers will provide consultative and audit assistance to ensure effective implementation of this safety policy and procedure. Safety and Loss Control will also work with Purchasing Department to ensure that all newly purchased ladders comply with this safety policy and procedure and current safety regulations.
Ladder safety training shall be done upon initial employment and/or job assignment. Refresher training shall be provided to employees at the discretion of their supervisor. Employees using the ladders shall be trained in:
• The proper use of the ladders
• What kind of ladder to use
• How to set up ladders
• Ladder inspection
• Proper maintenance
Ladder Hazards & Safe Use
There are inherent hazards associated with ladder use. Typical ladder hazards include:
• Insufficient surface resistance on ladder rungs and steps
• Ladder structural failure
• Ladders tipping sideways, backwards, or slipping out at the bottom
• Ladder spreaders not fully opened and locked, causing the ladder to “walk”, twist or close up when a load is applied to the ladder
• Using metal ladders around electricity
• Using deteriorated ladders
• Using fixed ladders without cages or fall protection
Safe Ladder Use
Employees should follow certain rules when placing, ascending, and descending ladders which include:
• Hold on with both hands when going up or down. If material must be handled, raise or lower it with a rope either before going down or after climbing to the desired level.
• Always face the ladder when ascending or descending.
• Never slide down a ladder.
• Be sure shoes are not greasy, muddy, or slippery before climbing.
• Do not climb higher than the third rung from the top on straight or extension ladder, or the second tread from the top on stepladders.
• Carry tools on a tool belt not in the hand.
• Never lean too far to the sides. Keep your belt buckle within the side rails.
• Use a 4 to 1 ratio when leaning a single or extension ladder. (place a 12 foot ladder so that the bottom is 3 feet away from the object the ladder is leaning against.)
• Inspect ladder for defects before using.
• Never use a defective ladder. Tag or mark it so that it will be repaired or destroyed.
• Never splice or lash a short ladder together.
• Never use makeshift ladders, such as cleats fastened across a single rail.
• Be sure that a stepladder is fully open and the metal spreader locked before starting to climb.
• Keep ladders clean and free from dirt and grease.
• Never use ladders during a strong wind except in an emergency and then only when they are securely fastened.
• Never leave placed ladders unattended.
• Never use ladders as guys, braces, or skids, or for any other purpose other than their intended purposes.
• Never attempt to adjust a ladder while a user is standing on the ladder.
• Never jump from a ladder. Always dismount from the bottom rung.
Ladder Safety Devices
Safety devices are available for both portable and fixed ladders to prevent a climber from falling. Safety devices for portable ladders include slip-resistant bases, safety tops, and any other device to increase the ladder stability. A portable ladder positioned at a location where it may be tipped over by work activities shall be securely fastened at the bottom and top. Safety devices for fixed ladders include cages (which enclose the stairwell) or a restraint belt attached to a sliding fixture anchored to the ladder.
An inspection program should be set up by which all ladders are inspected once every three months. Appendix B presents a general inspection form. Ladders that are weak, improperly repaired, damaged, have missing rungs, or appear unsafe shall be removed from the job or site for repair or disposal. Before discarding a wood ladder, cut it up so no one can use it again. Additionally, portable ladders must be maintained in good condition at all times and inspected frequently. Tag any ladders that have developed defects with DANGEROUS–DO NOT USE, and remove from service for repair or disposal.
For portable wood ladders, all wood parts shall be free from sharp edges and splinters; sound and free from accepted visual inspection from shake, wane, compression failures, decay, or other irregularities. For portable metal ladders, the design shall be without structural defects or accident hazards such as sharp edges, burrs, etc. The selected metal shall be of sufficient strength to meet the test requirements and shall be protected against corrosion. For fixed ladders, all wood parts shall meet the criteria of wood ladders. All metal parts shall meet the criteria of metal ladders.
Portable wood ladders may be coated with a water-repellent preservative to provide a suitable protective material. Metal ladders and metal parts on wood ladders should be corrosion-resistant and kept free from nicks. If nicks occur, they
Promoting safe and healthy work environments
Our workplace safety courses teach employees how to recognize jobsite hazards, avoid preventable accidents and comply with state and federal safety regulations. American Safety Council’s online training solutions help workers in construction, mining and a wide range of other industries meet the minimum standards to start work or satisfy retraining requirements.
OSHA Outreach Training and HAZWOPER
Workers in construction and general industry can complete our OSHA-authorized Outreach training courses to earn an official OSHA 10 or OSHA 30 card from the U.S. Department of Labor. We also offer 8-hour, 24-hour and 40-hour HAZWOPER courses that teach workers how to avoid exposures to hazardous substances and respond to emergency situations.
Topic-Specific Certificate Courses
Our certificate courses provide targeted training on a wide variety of OSHA and workplace safety topics, including fall protection, first aid and scaffolds. These 30-minute to one-hour courses are ideal for initial training or refresher training. Some certificate courses that we offer in partnership with the University of South Florida provide Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
Alcohol Server Training
Employees who sell or serve alcoholic beverages can meet their mandatory training requirements with our seller/server training courses. The courses explain how bartenders, waiters, cashiers and other employees who handle alcohol can serve responsibly, prevent underage drinking and avoid alcohol-related accidents.
OSHA-Authorized Training for
Workers and Supervisors
From understanding to implementation – your single source for real-world OSHA compliance guidance.
“This manual has and will continue to be an invaluable reference to my professional library.”
DTAYLOR, INDIANA, USA
Used in conjunction with the OSHA regulations, this publication serves as an effective guide to implementing safety and health requirements in your workplace
OSHA Compliance for General Industry belongs in every safety professional’s reference library. Developed by our team of regulatory experts, it doesn’t just state what OSHA’s requirements are but explains, in plain language, how to comply with them.
This OSHA compliance manual also includes J. J. Keller ® ez Explanations ™ summaries and FAQs to assist with quick understanding and implementation of key regulatory topics, plus written safety plans that can be completed easily by adding in workplace-specific information — a huge time savings!
Used in conjunction with the OSHA regulations, this publication serves as an effective guide to implementing safety and health requirements in your workplace.
Our OSHA Compliance for General Industry manual will assist you in your roadmap to getting started with OSHA compliance.
- Determine which specific OSHA regulations you must comply with
- Determine which written plans you must have
- Determine OSHA training requirements
- Determine OSHA inspection requirements
- Survey workers on safety and compliance needs
- Set up an incident investigation protocol with a focus on root-cause analysis
- Implement a safety committee with representation from all areas of the operations
- Document injuries and illnesses (unless you are exempt) on OSHA recordkeeping forms
- Aerial lifts
- Bloodborne pathogens
- Chemicals and hazardous substances
- Emergency planning/response
- Hand/power tools
- Hazard communication
- Machine guarding
- Overhead cranes
- Permit-required confined spaces
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Powered industrial trucks
- Walking-working surfaces
Bonus section includes information on how to get started with OSHA Compliance for safety professionals new to their role.
Free supplement expressly written for small businesses is available to add to your online subscription. This supplement provides vital information on what small businesses need to know about OSHA regulatory compliance and how to start your own compliance programs and processes.
Carefully selected by our on-staff experts — make compliance management easy:
|Compliance Point — A portion of a regulation often misunderstood or missed.|
|Did You Know? — Facts and insights that facilitate understanding of key topics.|
|Caution — Information on how to minimize risk, or avoid danger or damage.|
|Historical Note — Background or historical information on a requirement.|
With your online subscription, you’ll also have access to customizable safety plans, checklists, and forms that will save you time.
How much have you done to prioritize safety in your studio or gym? As if you don’t have enough to do! Yet workplace safety is such a big deal that a whole government agency has been created to regulate it, and many places have safety festivals, like this one in Eugene, Oregon. In fact, implementing, and documenting, your safety procedures can minimize your risk of insurance claims and financial loss.
An employee handbook typically includes basics about what is expected of employees, how your business operates, and reviews legal issues. An often incomplete piece is the safety section. A robust safety manual within your handbook enables your employees (including supervisors and instructors) to understand how to properly instruct students and maintain equipment, to help prevent injuries and accidents.
Your workplace handbook should be developed with input from your employees. It can be incorporated in the training of new employees and as a reference guide for your entire staff.
Workplace safety manuals should include employee safety policies and procedures that address key risk areas, including instruction, supervision, inspection, and maintenance. It should also include an Emergency Action Plan. Review OSHA’s requirements and responsibilities of employers, and be sure to include anything relevant that they require for your situation. The safety section of your handbook should show how to:
- Instruct employees on safety
- Supervise employees
- Inspect indoor, outdoor, and off-site facilities and equipment
- Maintain indoor and outdoor facilities and equipment
- Enact the Emergency Action Plan
Each of the major topic areas should include detailed employee safety policies, procedures, and checklists.
Instruction of employees
Include guidelines for proper orientation and training of new instructors, assistants, and temporary workers, if necessary. Include as much detail as possible on the studio’s safety rules and regulations, not only as they relate to instructing students, but also how parents and visitors must be instructed and observed to ensure safety. Be sure to include a schedule for ongoing safety training sessions, and include a checklist for such things as:
- Instructors meet the baseline education, certification, or experience qualification requirements.
- Initiate training safety sessions for activities conducted in the main facility as well as any offsite facilities students may perform at.
- Encourage and provide opportunities for instructors to participate in ongoing training and education.
- Keep a record of all training events in log book.
- Instructors should be certain that appropriate safety or First Aid kits are available during practices, games, or other events and activities.
Supervision of employees
Include guidelines for regularly observing instructors to ensure that they are performing their duties competently, and following proper safety procedures. Supervisors and instructors must provide a reasonable amount of care. Consider such things as:
- Instructors must teach activities in a step-by-step manner.
- Determine whether basic or specialized supervision is needed.
Inspection of indoor/outdoor facilities and equipment
Include protocols for performing regular maintenance and inspection of existing facilities to prevent accidents and injuries, such as slips or falls. Include guidelines for routinely inspecting the facilities for hazards and such things as leaks and objects that could cause accidents or injuries. Create one or more checklists for inspection, such as things needed daily, versus monthly.
Maintenance of indoor and outdoor facilities and equipment for safety
Like your inspection checklist(s), create similar scheduled checklists for maintenance. Here are a few examples:
- Clean entrance, main studio room, bathrooms, etc.
- Monitor and maintain appropriate humidity and temperature levels.
- Carry out regular maintenance to all major and minor components.
Emergency Action Plan
An Emergency Action Plan is developed to deal with an emergency in a calm, efficient, and organized manner. Emergency Action Plans deal with a variety of incidents, including Sports Injuries, Tornadoes/Hurricanes/Flooding, Fire, Missing Persons, Chemical Leaks, and Bomb Threats.
This article was updated on July 25, 2018.
A safe workplace is a more productive one. Creating a workplace safety plan can help reduce the risk of employee injury or illness — and lower your workers’ compensation costs, too.
Follow these five steps to create a workplace safety plan for your business:
Step 1: Inspect and improve your worksite.
Do a walk-through of your facilities and look for any potential hazards that should be addressed ASAP — everything from tripping risks to too-dark lighting. Identify potential injuries and create an action plan to address them.
Step 2: Conduct a job safety analysis.
Review job procedures from beginning to end and build safety practices into every role:
- Identify the basic steps involved in the job
- Determine potential hazards
- Outline safe work procedures and controls
- Monitor job processes and safety controls on a regular basis, making improvements as needed
Step 3: Put it in writing.
After you’ve inspected your worksite and conducted a job safety analysis, turn your findings into written safety guidelines that detail your processes and expectations. By clearly defining your policies, you’ll establish a culture of responsibility and accountability, better manage your risk and have materials readily available if an incident occurs.
Step 4: Train your employees.
Offer on-site training tools and safety resources, like the guidelines mentioned in step #3. Your carrier can be a great source for training assistance. Educating employees helps them understand why safe practices are necessary and how they can use them to help minimize or eliminate accidents. Be sure to make safety training part of your onboarding process for new employees, too.
Step 5: Analyze accidents.
When accidents happen, figure out why and how they happened. Record the incident to help identify patterns or recurring issues. This will allow you to make proper adjustments to your worksite and job procedures, and possibly avoid future occurrences.
Success starts with a safety-minded partner.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a division of the U.S. Departmental of Labor, is the federal agency charged with developing standards for workplace safety. When the agency, known as OSHA, conducts workplace inspections to determine compliance with its standards, it compiles reports of the results of these inspections. These reports are available to the public under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Many of these reports are available online at the OSHA website.
Data and Statistics
Visit the OSHA website home page and click on the tab “Data and Statistics” located at the tip of the page. Data and Statistics tab will take you to the page where you can access the individual establishment inspection data.
Once the “Data and Statistics” page loads, it offers you a series of choices. You will see links to various OSHA databases, such as commonly used statistics, workplace injury, illness and fatality statistics and establishment specific injury and illness data. Each presents OSHA statistics and information from a different point of view.
The first choice on the “Data and Statistics” Page is “Establishment Specific Injury and Illness Data” just below the header “Inspection Data.” This election directs you to an online form that allows you to search the DART database. “DART” is OSHA’s database of accidents and incidents that resulted in “Days Away, Restricted and Transfer.” This the number of days that workers incurred away from work, the number of days were their work activities were restricted or the number of days where they were transferred to another job with the firm because of illness or injury on the job.
Search by Company
Enter the name of the company in the blank entitled “establishment.” enter the name of the city and state in which the company is located. Enter the ZIP code. Enter the year range in which the incident occurred. For example, if the incident occurred between 2006 and 2009, select “2006” in the first box and “2009” in the second box. Press “Submit.” If any results are found in the OSHA database, it will report the industry, the total number of OSHA cases and the DART information for the company name you entered.
As of August, 2011, this database contains information from 1996 through 2009. For this type of report, but outside this date range, click the “Freedom of Information Act” link at the bottom of the page and follow the instructions.
By OSHA Activity Number
The “Inspection Data” link provides information on specific OSHA inspections, using the OSHA “Activity Number,” the number assigned to a specific inspection. If you are trying to find the results of an OSHA inspection of a specific facility, and if you have the OSHA inspection number, you can enter that inspection number. If, for example, you are searching for a common factor or element in a group of OSHA inspections, you can retrieve the data for up to 12 individual inspections at a time.
Search by Industry Codes
Inspection information is also searchable by the SIC code — the Standard Industrial Code — or by the NAICS, the North American Industrial Classification System number, both of which are used to identify groups of industries.
In 1997, in an effort to reduce duplication of effort, the Office of Management and Budget scrapped the SIC code, in favor of the Census Bureau’s more comprehensive North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS. If you do not know the SIC code of the industry, but know the NAICS code, you can enter the NAICS code.
Such a search may be useful if you wish to find the inspection data for an entire industry. For example, if you wish to know the result of all inspections in the commercial diving industry, you may enter either the SIC code “3809” or the NAICS Code “561990”
Other Inspection Reports
Under “Inspection Data,” you may also select the state in which the facility was inspected to see the inspection information for other businesses in the same state. If you wish to retrieve inspection information based on the the location of the office that conducted the inspection, you will receive all of the inspection reports completed by that office. You may also elect to receive all inspection reports in a range of dates by specifying the starting or ending dates of the period for which you want data.
For a Particular Event
Search using the “Inspection Information” function if you know the OSHA “activity number” associated with a particular inspection. You can request up to 12 different inspection numbers if you enter one inspection numbers into each of the 12 the boxes on the “Inspection Information” page.
The “Accident Investigation” search allows you access to accident investigation summaries completed by OSHA investigators following an accident that resulted in a “fatality or catastrophe” reportable on OSHA Form 170. This search can be based on a keyword in the report, a phrase within the report, the date of the event or the industry code. The earliest summaries are those from 1984 and the newest are dated exactly one year earlier than the date you search the database. If for example, you perform a search on August 18, 2012, the newest reports you can retrieve are those dated August 18, 2011.
Using the FOIA
If the information you want is not available on the OSHA website, you may send a written Freedom of Information Act request to OSHA. Detailed instructions for submitting the request are available on the OSHA website by clicking the “Freedom of Information Act” link at the bottom of any page. Note that not all OSHA information is made public, and certain data may be omitted from the report you receive.