A safety plan is a vital written document considered a federal requirement to demonstrate a company’s commitment to occupational health and safety. Through this document, a set of guidelines is established to manage a company’s daily routines with fewer risks. With a safety plan, companies can identify physical and health risks that can affect their employees. Its purpose is to document hazards and action plans to prevent them.
Some safety plans even specify actions for isolated situations that may occur periodically in the work routine. It motivates employees to create a strategy to avoid risks, injuries, and illnesses, and at the same time, encourages employers to improve working conditions, especially when the industry involves handling chemicals, gases, or flammable materials.
Having a safety plan within a company has a positive impact on various aspects. Firstly, it reduces the cost of injuries or accidents. Secondly, it increases the company’s productivity by promoting a healthier environment for your employees. Lastly, but not least, it creates a better impression on employees who feel more motivated.
But what is the most important part of a company's safety plan?
It can be said that the existence of a safety plan provides an effective strategy for dealing with unforeseen situations. The most important part of this document lies in having a method for accident prevention.
The focus of this document is to create strategies for preventing situations that can cause death or injuries to employees, damage to infrastructure and equipment, harm to the community, and harm to the environment.
At the same time, within the strategies, provision is made for the course of action in case of accidents. A path to follow in the event of failures, disasters, or injuries at work is outlined, as well as the fastest strategy to restore regular operations.
How are safety plans developed in companies?
The steps to follow to develop a workplace safety plan are as follows.
Appoint an auditor
The employer can appoint one or more internal auditors responsible for evaluating and drafting a document on comprehensive management within the company. Depending on the company’s industry, different types of documents may be required. For example, some companies need specific safety plans.
Identification of Hazards
Know and detail each of the hazards within the company, from infrastructure to daily activities.
Application of Safety Policy and Goals:
Once the details to improve are known, a new policy is established to plan how to change the current situation. Goals must be realistic and have time limits for achievement.
List of Responsible Individuals
Organizing the hierarchical structure within the company is crucial for effective implementation of occupational health and safety strategies. Creating a list and communicating who is responsible for achieving the goals will help in their accomplishment.
Safe Practices and Risk Control
Strategies that change the current management within the company, defining these strategies aims to improve the situation by reducing risks.
In addition to planning strategies to prevent injuries and accidents, there must be an action plan in case of force majeure or even an accident within the company. To make this implementation effective, employee training and drills are necessary.
Training and Education Plans
Through this resource, employees can stay informed about new changes and get their questions answered regarding the implementation of safety practices. It is essential to encourage good communication to improve the work environment and achieve proper strategy implementation.
It is the duty of the internal auditor to keep a record of each application of safe practices, training, education, accidents, or accident risks to gauge the level of response and conduct future assessments for continuous improvement.
How to determine the ideal safety plan for a company?
It may seem like a simple matter at first glance, but it is quite complex because a company faces not just one but several risks that need individual attention.
Identifying risks and assessing the level of each one is the most important step. From there, the company’s health and safety conditions begin to improve. However, the auditor or the company’s safety department must pay sufficient attention to create an individual strategy to prevent each situation and provide a guide in case the risk cannot be contained.
The following types of plans can be developed according to each company’s requirements:
Activity-specific safety plan:
Some positions expose employees to risks, so it is important to create a safety strategy that is strictly followed and an action plan in case of an accident. The written document aims to reduce risk by making all employees aware of the danger, explaining safety methods, and ensuring their compliance.
Safety plan for equipment and machinery:
Handling, maintenance, and calibration of certain equipment are critical because they pose an exponential risk to workers and the company’s infrastructure. Creating a document that specifies the action plan is crucial to prevent setbacks, injuries, and accidents.
Safety plan for specific risks:
The overall management of a company is sometimes different from the management of a specific operation or risk. For these cases, it is important to detail a specific action plan to reduce the risk.
Why should the safety plan be in writing?
Federal OSHA specifies the need to create written safety plans to maintain a record and facilitate communication of strategies with the rest of the employees. At the same time, safety procedures and the requirements that each document must meet to be considered valid for business use in Canada are specified.
Having a safety plan guarantees employees an ideal environment where their well-being is protected, which is why communication through training, drills, and reports on new safety policies is so important.
In a company, safety is like a gear; all the pieces must work at the same pace and with a similar purpose.