Bob Lapidus, CSP, CSMS
A feeling of family support provides employees with the sense they are cared for and they will be protected. Such a sentiment is very common among small organizations with two to ten employees. Yet, it can also occur in large establishments where the smaller offices, shops, and field crews create their own appreciation of family and closeness.
In the field of safety, especially within a well-managed organization striving for excellence and professionalism, a feeling of family can do much to create and maintain a safe work environment. Others watch out for us. Our organizational friends help us maintain our facilities and our personal protective equipment. We act as a team, seeking to be successful in what we do.
The small-group family works hard to accomplish its goals and then recognizes its accomplishments. Celebrations honoring success are an integral part of the work that is done. People break bread together and enjoy camaraderie.
Success is realized not only in the work accomplished, but in how it is achieved. Work is performed safely, efficiently, and correctly.
Accident prevention and compliance are managed. Safety is integrated into how each task is accomplished, and all levels of the organization work together to prevent the preventable accident. It is a total group effort.
Managers and supervisors encourage their employees to work cooperatively, helping one another. Large, heavy or bulky objects are team lifted so no one person is exposed to a strain injury. Driving is shared. Hazards are noted and corrected by individuals and by the organization as a whole.
The Injury & Illness Prevention Program is created, implemented, and maintained by everyone, not just selected people. Everyone is involved in safety communications, doing continuous inspections of the workplace so problems are identified and corrected prior to an injury being sustained. Training is welcomed and when possible, each person helps in the training process in their own specialty areas. Employees report possible safety problems and offer solutions. The solutions are respected by management and the team seeks to work out the best corrective actions.
It is the group of people, working together, that makes the safety culture positive. A feeling of family generates the desire to do what is right and make the work environment as safe as possible.
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After completing this nine-day program, graduates may take the exam to achieve the Certified Safety Management Specialist (CSMS) designation. Recipients of the CSMS receive a beautiful plaque and become part of an elite group of safety specialists who have achieved this recognition. Once this certification is attained, successful candidates keep it for the rest of their lives without any additional requirements or fees.