Author: Bob Lapidus, CSP, CSMS
We have heard it said that occupational injuries and various other accidents are just a cost of doing business. Management buys insurance, has losses, and life goes on.
On the other hand, what if management is able to reduce losses to the irreducible minimum? Insurance premiums would drop, profits would go up, and employees would no longer be the walking wounded. The cost of doing business would be less. That would be a good option. Right?
What more is there to say? There should not be anything else, but apparently there is. Many organizations expect injuries to occur. Managers and supervisors do not believe their people can work safely all the time.
And yet, organizations both in the private and public sectors, work without injuries for years. What makes one organization achieve such good results and other organizations regularly have their employees sustain injuries?
The answer pretty much is wrapped up in the old saying: As the leader goes so goes the organization.
Either top managers have safety in their hearts or they do not.
If the top person believes in safety and that employees can work without getting hurt and that leader has a passion for safety, the rest of the organization will have that same passion.
Nevertheless, passion without good management is insufficient. Employees who regularly work safely should be recognized for their excellent performance. Employees who take shortcuts and do not follow good safety procedures should be corrected.
Management spends monies on providing the right equipment for the work to be done. Employees receive initial and refresher training. Hazardous work situations include pre-job meetings to discuss the safety problems associated with the job. No one is permitted to do a task who has not been trained on that task. Employees do not do non-routine tasks without oversight. Supervisors remind their employees of the hazards and how to work safely. Everyone watches out for one another.
Attitudes are checked. Supervisors deal directly with conflicts among employees to eliminate animosity on the job. Team work and togetherness and a family work relationship culminates in people watching out for one another.
Not getting hurt and not damaging equipment and facilities is the goal. The slogan – Mission First, Safety Always – brings about a healthy working environment. Accidents do not happen, the organization does not lose people or finances. The organization is well managed and everyone works in a safe manner. The organization is successful.
After completing this nine-day program, graduates may take the exam to achieve the Certified Safety Management Specialist (CSMS) designation. Once this certification is achieved, successful candidates keep it for the rest of their lives without any additional requirements or fees.