Thursday, 23 July 2020

Need for Industrial based Safety and Health program



Every industry is committed to provide a safe, accident-free, and healthy work environment for everyone. However, health and safety do not occur by chance. They are the result of an effective safety program and careful attention and participation by everyone. Safety demands everyone’s responsibility and cooperation. Supervisors and management at all levels must address these concerns and take corrective action when warranted. Everyone is obligated to know the safety program for their area or job. Safety and health should be at top priority in all the organizations. The implementation of industry based safety programme must be an integral component of the management system. . Successful safety management would depend on clearly identifying the responsibilities of the various levels of management. The participation of workers in the implementation of programme, The components of each activity—whether training, development of a working procedure or education—must be described in a way that is obvious to all levels of the organization.The final stage is to ensure that a continuous improvement cycle can occur by the installation of a safety programme audit on at least an annual basis.


Safety and health programs help the industries in


§ Preventing  workplace injuries and illnesses

§ Improving compliance with laws and regulations

§ Reducing costs, including reductions in workers' compensation claims

§ Engaging and encouraging workers participation

§ Enhancing their social responsibility goals

§ Increasing productivity and enhance overall business operations


STEPS TO GET STARTED WITH A SAFETY PROGRAM


1.SAFETY AND HEALTH AS A TOP PRIORITY:  Put safety and health as the top priority. Ensure the workers finish the day and go home safely. Assure them that the management is going to work with them to find and fix any hazards that could injure them or make them sick.


2.SET AN EXAMPLE TO THE EMPLOYEES: Practice safe behaviors at the organizational level and make safety part of the daily conversations with workers.


3.IMPLEMENT A REPORTING SYSTEM: Develop and communicate a simple procedure for workers to report any injuries, illnesses, incidents (including near misses/close calls), hazards, or safety and health concerns without fear of guilt.


4.PROVIDE TRAINING: Train workers on how to identify and control hazards. Organizations need to provide training and instructions to the employees to ensure that they are able to carry out their tasks safely and without risks to health. Training helps and educates employees what they should and should not do when they carry out their workplace activities.


5.CONDUCT INSPECTIONS: Inspect the workplace with workers and ask them to identify any activity, piece of equipment, or material that concerns them with the help of  checklists.


6.INVOLVE EMPLOYEES FOR HAZARD CONTROL IDEAS: Involve workers for ideas on improvements and follow up on their suggestions. Provide them time during work hours, if necessary, to research solutions.


7.IMPLEMENT HAZARD CONTROLS: Assign workers the task of choosing, implementing, and evaluating the solutions they come up with.


8.ADDRESS EMERGENCIES: Identify foreseeable emergency scenarios and develop instructions on how to initiate and participate in the course of action.


9.CONSULT WITH WORKERS ON WORKPLACE CHANGES: Before making significant changes to the workplace, work organization, equipment, or materials, consult with workers to identify potential safety or health issues.


10.MAKE IMPROVEMENTS: A regular time has to be set for discussing safety and health issues, with the goal of identifying ways to improve the program.





ELEMENTS OF THE SAFETY AND HEALTH PROGRAM


MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP


• Top management demonstrates its commitment to continuous improvement in safety and health, communicates that commitment to workers, and sets program expectations and responsibilities.

• Managers at all levels make safety and health a core organizational value, establish safety and health goals and objectives, provide adequate resources and support for the program, and set a good example.


WORKER PARTICIPATION

• Workers and their representatives are involved in all aspects of the program—including setting goals, identifying and reporting hazards, investigating incidents, and tracking progress.

• All workers, including contractors and temporary workers, understand their roles and responsibilities under the program and what they need to do to effectively carry them out.

• Workers are encouraged and have means to communicate openly with management and to report safety and health concerns without fear of retaliation.

• Any potential barriers or obstacles to worker participation in the program (for example, language, lack of information, or disincentives) are removed or addressed.


HAZARD IDENTIFICATION & ASSESSMENT

• Procedures are put in place to continually identify workplace hazards and evaluate risks.

• Safety and health hazards from routine, nonroutine, and emergency situations are identified and assessed.

• An initial assessment of existing hazards, exposures, and control measures is followed by periodic inspections and reassessments, to identify new hazards.

• Any incidents are investigated with the goal of identifying the root causes.

• Identified hazards are prioritized for control.


HAZARD PREVENTION & CONTROL

• Employers and workers cooperate to identify and select methods for eliminating, preventing, or controlling workplace hazards.

• Controls are selected according to a hierarchy that uses engineering solutions first, followed by safe work practices, administrative controls, and finally personal protective equipment (PPE). • A plan is developed to ensure that controls are implemented, interim protection is provided, progress is tracked, and the effectiveness of controls is verified.


EDUCATION & TRAINING

• All workers are trained to understand how the program works and how to carry out the responsibilities assigned to them under the program.

• Employers, managers, and supervisors receive training on safety concepts and their responsibility for protecting workers’ rights and responding to workers’ reports and concerns.

• All workers are trained to recognize workplace hazards and to understand the control measures that have been implemented.


PROGRAM EVALUATION & IMPROVEMENT

• Control measures are periodically evaluated for effectiveness.

• Processes are established to monitor program performance, verify program implementation, and identify program shortcomings and opportunities for improvement.

• Necessary actions are taken to improve the program and overall safety and health performance.


COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION FOR EMPLOYERS, CONTRACTORS, AND STAFFING AGENCIES

• Employers, contractors, and staffing agencies commit to providing the same level of safety and health protection to all employees.

• Employers, contractors, and staffing agencies commmunicate the hazards present at the worksite and the hazards that work of contract workers may create on site.

• Employers establish specifications and qualifications for contractors and staffing agencies.

• Before beginning work, employers, contractors, and staffing agencies coordinate on work planning and scheduling to identify and resolve any conflicts that could affect safety or health.



Article by Dr.Yashoda Tammineni,
MSc, Ph.D.
HSE, HOD at NIFS

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