Visualize: Insights that power innovation

Ten easy steps to starting a safety program

By Mark I. Grossman, CIH, CSP March 1, 2016

construction safety

As an employer, you want to make safety your number one priority. Here are ten steps that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that can help get you there:

  1. Set safety and health as a top priority
    Tell workers that making sure they finish the day and go home safely is how you do business. Assure them that you’ll work with them to find and fix any hazards that could injure them or make them sick.
  2. Lead by example
    Practice safe behaviors yourself, and make safety part of your 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 and close calls), hazards, or safety and health concerns without fear of retaliation. Include an option for reporting hazards or concerns anonymously.
  4. Provide training
    Train workers on how to identify and control hazards using, for example, OSHA’s Hazard Identification Training Tool.
  5. Conduct inspections
    Inspect the workplace with workers and ask them to identify any activity, piece of equipment, or material that concerns them. Use checklists, such as those included in OSHA’s Small Business Handbook, to help identify problems.
  6. Collect hazard control ideas
    Ask workers for their 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 suggest.
  8. Address emergencies
    Identify foreseeable emergency scenarios, and develop instructions on what to do in each case. Meet to discuss the procedures, and post them in a visible location in the workplace.
  9. Seek input 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
    Set aside a regular time to discuss safety and health issues, with the goal of identifying ways to improve the program.

To learn more about loss control information that you can provide to your insureds, please visit Verisk’s Engineering and Safety Service (E&S™) website, www.verisk.com/ess. For point-of-sale workers' compensation underwriting solutions, go to www.verisk.com/wc.


Mark Grossman is manager, Engineering and Safety Service, Verisk Insurance Solutions and can be contacted at mark.grossman@verisk.com.