What goes into a great facility safety plan?
Like building a house, a great facility safety plan starts from the bottom up, with a strong foundation that will support you for years to come and set you up for future success, providing a framework from which to branch out. However, it also requires a lot of bricks.
We could write a book about all the bricks you need to build a great company safety plan, but for today, we’re going to focus on the load-bearing bricks, the ones that all the other bricks need to stand up.
Identify Risks and Hazards
The most important first step in your workplace and facility safety plan is anticipating risks and hazards in your workplace. After all, risks and hazards lie at the heart of your safety responsibilities as an employer. If you don’t know what hazards you’re trying to prevent, you won’t know how to direct your attention when writing your company safety plan.
Keep in mind that a hazard and a risk are two very different things, though they’re often used synonymously. A hazard is anything that can cause harm, while a risk is the probability that harm will occur. Understanding the difference is critical to using your risk management matrix, which allows you to score risks based on severity and probability.
Learn Industry Compliance Standards
The next step should already be familiar: learn your industry’s compliance standards. After all, if you don’t know what rules you need to follow, you won’t do a very good job of following them.
While much private-sector safety compliance falls under the purview of OSHA, there are some exceptions. Mining companies, for example, fall under the jurisdiction of the Mining Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA.
In addition, some companies may fall within OSHA jurisdiction and another industry-specific regulator simultaneously. There may also be disparities between state and federal OSHA, if you happen to be in a state with a state OSHA plan.
In this respect, it pays to do your homework early and often. Unfortunately, compliance won’t become less of a maze anytime soon, so your best shot at compliance is to stay up to speed. And as for your safety plan, you should leave wiggle room to allow for changing compliance regulations and update your policies to reflect changes in the law.
However, compliance also requires thorough safety education, both legally and logically. After all, safety compliance doesn’t work if your workforce doesn’t know what the rules are. As such, your compliance component should go hand-in-hand with a thorough safety training plan.
Enacting Your Workplace Facility Safety Plan
As previously noted, this is not an exhaustive list, but rather the foundation intended to help you start a successful company and facility safety plan. To learn more about facility management best practices, subscribe to our blog.