Six steps to improving workplace safety: the May announcement of the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration's (OSHA) Strategic Management Plan sets targets to help employers reduce the cost of work-related injuries and illness.OSHA OSHA
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a branch of the US Department of Labor responsible for establishing and enforcing safety and health standards in the workplace. calls for reducing the rate of work-related fatalities by 15 percent and injuries by 20 percent over the next five years. It also sets annual targets for lowering specific injury types and improving safety in some industries.
So why the muted mut·ed
a. Muffled; indistinct: a muted voice.
b. Mute or subdued; softened: muted colors.
2. response to the plan by business? As is so often heard in business, "the devil is in the details." So it would seem to be the case here. What OSHA's plan does not do is provide employers with the steps they need to reach these targets and lower injury frequency as well as the human and economic toll that results.
Companies with the best safety records have formal safety and health programs and a key to these programs is the annual safety plan. This makes reducing work-related injuries a goal and provides a framework for future improvement. There are six key steps that should be included in any plan. They are:
Start at the Top
Senior management has two critical roles in safety. First, they alone can make safety a key business goal and provide the necessary resources to achieve that objective. Second, people throughout any organization take their cue cue,
n a stimulus that determines or may prompt the nature of a person's response.
cue Psychology Any sensory stimulus that evokes a learned patterned response. See Conditioning. from the top. If the leadership consistently treats safety as a priority, so will others.
How do you gain management's support for safety? By measuring, monitoring and demonstrating the financial impact of work-related injuries on the company's bottom line. A concrete company recently made improving safety a key goal after a one of our safety consultants lined-up more than 100 toy concrete mixers on a conference table to show how much more product the company had to sell to cover the cost of work-related injuries.
Make Information King
It is impossible today for any business to operate in an information void. This is equally true for managing risk programs. You can't make something better if you don't don't
1. Contraction of do not.
2. Nonstandard Contraction of does not.
A statement of what should not be done: a list of the dos and don'ts. understand the current performance. Work with your insurance carrier and broker to identify safety issues driving losses at your company and how this compares to your competitors. Identify the types of injuries that happen most frequently and those that cost the most as claims develop. Your goal is to improve safety throughout your organization, so collect this information for the company at large and for its individual facilities or geographic operations. This will let you tailor A tailor is a person whose occupation is to sew menswear style jackets and the skirts or trousers that go with them.
Although the term dates to the thirteenth century, tailor your safety plan to address issues at every level.
Define the Bulls-Eye The bulls-eye or deepsea cardinalfish, Epigonus telescopus, is a deepwater cardinalfish of the family Epigonidae, found in most temperate oceans worldwide, at depths of between 75 and 1,200 m. Its length is between 30 and 75 cm.
Once you have senior management's support and understand the range of safety issues faced by the company, it's time It's Time was a successful political campaign run by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) under Gough Whitlam at the 1972 election in Australia. Campaigning on the perceived need for change after 23 years of conservative (Liberal Party of Australia) government, Labor put forward a to set the initial focus of your plan. Identify the specific issues your safety plan will address by prioritizing them based on their frequency and costs. Focus on those that have the greatest impact. Also, set appropriate targets for how much you will improve in each area, based on your current performance and that of your competitors.
Select the Best Roads for Success
There are a variety of internal and external sources to help identify the most effective ways to improve in each targeted safety issue. These include engineering, production, or facilities departments, front-line employees, and insurer An individual or company who, through a contractual agreement, undertakes to compensate specified losses, liability, or damages incurred by another individual.
An insurer is frequently an insurance company and is also known as an underwriter. and broker. There will be a range of solutions to address each issue. Identifying the best one and making the case for any necessary spending requires comparing the cost of each solution to the savings it will likely produce.
Involving front-line employees at this step strengthens the safety plan--these people know their jobs better than anyone--and helps gain acceptance. The plan should also address other ways the company can manage costs related to injured in·jure
tr.v. in·jured, in·jur·ing, in·jures
1. To cause physical harm to; hurt.
2. To cause damage to; impair.
3. workers, such as programs that return employees to work, allocate To reserve a resource such as memory or disk. See memory allocation. related expenses throughout the company and train supervisors to encourage injured employees to return to work. A recent Liberty Mutual study found that employers who train supervisors to stay in contact with injured workers had fewer and shorter disabilities.
Gain Management's Support
Improving safety does not happen overnight, of course. It requires time, senior management's support, and a specific plan. Communication is the fuel that drives understanding throughout the company and gains valuable employee participation. Communication must be frequent and varied. Tools include meetings, newsletters and Web sites.
Take the Pulse and Adjust
No one goes on a long car trip without periodically looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. a milestone to judge their progress. Closing the gap between current and target performance levels requires ongoing measurement. Each month or quarter, your company's performance in each target safety area should be tracked and the plan adjusted as necessary. Once you improve, raise the bar by setting new goals or addressing the next set of safety issues.
While these steps can help employers build a safety plan, work and determination is still needed to see the process through. The benefits of a safer workplace for a company and its employees, however, are well worth that effort.
OSHA'S Strategic Management Plan At a Glance
For 2003 to 2004, the recently announced OSHA Strategic Management Plan calls for reducing:
* Fatalities in construction by 3 percent.
* Fatalities in general industry by 1 percent.
* Injuries and illness in construction and general industry, and in certain high-hazard industries by 4 percent.
* Injuries in manufacturing and construction that cause amputations by 3 percent.
* Ergonomic-related injuries by 4 percent.
The Cost of Workplace Injuries
Work-related injuries generated $42.5 billion in direct costs in 2000, which produced as much as another $212 billion in indirect costs Indirect costs are costs that are not directly accountable to a particular function or product; these are fixed costs. Indirect costs include taxes, administration, personnel and security costs. See also
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the latest findings of the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index.
Direct costs involve payments to injured workers and their medical care providers. Indirect costs include the overtime, training and lost productivity resulting from an employee being away from work.
While employers carry the entire burden of indirect costs, the extent of the impact of the direct costs on a company depends on the financial structure of their workers' compensation workers' compensation, payment by employers for some part of the cost of injuries, or in some cases of occupational diseases, received by employees in the course of their work. program.
As employers have retained greater levels of risk through increased deductibles or self-insurance self-insurance,
n the setting aside of funds by an individual or organization to meet anticipated dental care expenses or dental care claims, and accumulation of a fund to absorb fluctuations in the amount of expenses and claims. as a result of rising workers' compensation insurance premiums, they have taken on a larger share of the direct costs of workplace injuries.
Karl Karl. For German and Swedish kings thus named, use Charles. Jacobson is senior vice president of loss prevention for Liberty Mutual, a provider of workers' compensation insurance, products and services. He can be reached at email@example.com.