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Course 833 - Developing a Construction Safety Management System

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

Vision, Mission, Roles, Responsibilities

Once you have gained the support and a real commitment (a budget and others who will help), it time to begin the process of creating the CSMS.

We think the following process to design, develop and deploy the CSMS can be very effective, so let’s take a look at it:

Design, Develop, Deploy Image

Design the CSMS

During this first phase in the process, gather a team of managers, supervisors, and employees who volunteer to discuss and draft the following five components within the CSMS:

  1. Mission and vision statements
  2. Safety goals, objectives and performance measures
  3. Safety positions, duties and responsibilities of line and staff
  4. Programs to include in the CSMS
  5. Strategic Safety Plan

The purpose of this first phase in the implementation of the CSMS is to paint the “big picture” that helps guide everyone in developing and deploying the CSMS. From the very start it’s important to have the vision to understand who you are and a sense of mission about what you do as a corporate entity, and to do that, you’ll need to create a vision and mission statement. So let’s take a look at these two concepts.

Vision and Mission Statements

A very important psychological principle that everyone should understand at all levels of the company is that...

“we do what we do because of who we think we are.”

It’s important to develop a vision statement that tells everyone (people within and outside of the company) <u>who the company is</u>.
It’s important to develop a vision statement that tells everyone (people within and outside of the company) who the company is.

If we believe our company is the best, we will act like it is the best. If we think the company values safety, we will act in ways that reflect that belief.

With that in mind, it’s important to develop a vision statement that tells everyone (people within and outside of the company) who the company is.

Take a look at a few sample vision statements below:

Sample Vision Statements

  • XYZ Construction values its "relationship with customers" above all. To be successful we treat all employees as valued internal customers. We respect their ideas, value their work, and provide whatever is needed so that they may accomplish excellence in a safe-productive manner. Doing this empowers our employees so that they may manifest our values daily with our external customers.
  • At XYZ, our safety isn’t separate from our operations. It’s safe-operations or no operations.
  • At XYZ, safety is a line responsibility, not a staff responsibility. It’s equal to all other considerations of production, costs, and quality.
  • At XYZ, we are never done!
  • The XYZ Safety Committee is a team of dedicated volunteers that serve as an “internal consultant” to all managers, supervisors and employees.

The mission statement, on the other hand, tells the world what the company does -- why your company exists, by stating its intended purpose. The mission statement lets everyone know what your company's product or service is; who its customers are; what its service territory is.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

Sample Mission Statements

  • It is the mission of XYZ Construction to safely manufacture and deliver the highest quality megalithic cyberwidgets to our valued customers throughout the world.
  • The XYZ Safety Committee’s mission is to help management keep the worksite as safe and healthful as possible by providing quality feedback and effective solutions to safety issues.

Vision and Policy Statements

Stage 1: Develop, issue, and communicate S&H Vision Statement and S&H Policy Statement.

Stage 2: Communicate Vision and Policy Statements to all company and subcontractor employees; incorporate into new employee/subcontractor orientation. Include the vision and policy in bid packages.

Stage 3: Take proactive steps to ensure company and subcontractor employees understand the S&H Vision and Policy Statements. Ensure policies become an integral part of routine activities and decision making during all phases of construction.

Goals and Objectives

OK, so now you know who you are and what you do as stated in the vision and mission statements. The next step is to develop some broad goals and specific operational objectives for your company's CSMS.


Goals are easy to write. That’s because they’re nothing more than mere “wishes”. For instance, a safety goal might be to:

  • "get everyone trained"
  • “lower injury rates”
  • “recognize everyone who exceeds expectations”

Operational Objectives

Operational objectives, on the other hand, are structured and take a little more thought to properly construct. Objectives should include the following components:

  • A behavior. You'll use an action verb. (Decrease, increase, improve, conduct, identify, etc.)
  • A standard. A standard will describe a single key result to be accomplished. The result should be measurable or quantifiable. (50%, all, at least 200, etc.)
  • A performer. Describes who will be responsible for achieving the result. (Safety department, supervisors, regions, etc.)
  • A time limit. This is the target date that you set. The result must be achieved by that date.
  • A condition. This is usually just "given the requirement." (without help, a $1,000 budget, after CEO approval, etc.)

For example, operational safety objectives might be written like this:

  • "Each facility will increase the number of safety suggestions submitted each month to at least 15 by the end of each quarter"
  • "The shipping department will reduce the number of back injuries in the warehouse by 70% by the end of the year."
  • “We will lower our workers compensation rate to .9 by October 1, 2019."

Goals and Objectives (continued...)

Remember to work with the safety committee to share the goals and objectives with everyone in the company.


Goals and Objectives

Stage 1: Set and communicate annual S&H goals and objectives based on findings from baseline hazard and trend analyses, and S&H perception survey results.

Stage 2: Review progress towards achievement of S&H goals & objectives; establish & communicate new goals, as appropriate. Require subcontractors to develop goals and objectives consistent with Challenge participation.

Stage 3: Company and subcontractors review, revise, and communicate S&H goals and objectives. Ensure S&H goals and objectives are routinely considered in company and subcontractor activities and programs.

Roles and Responsibilities

Now that you have developed some broad goals and objectives for your CSMS, the next step is to think about and draft general management-level roles and responsibilities that will be assigned to your managers, site superintendents, foremen and supervisors.

A person’s role and associated responsibilities have the same kind of relationship as the company’s vision and mission statement. Remember, the vision statement tells everyone who we are, and the mission statement let’s everyone know what we do.

The Roles We Play

A person’s “role” may be thought of as the part (or assigned position) played by a person in a particular business environment. The person’s behavior and actions at work is influenced by his own, and other employees’ expectations of what are appropriate for the role being played.

Some examples of business roles are:

  • Manager
  • Supervisor
  • Safety Director
  • OSHA Inspector
  • Safety Committee Member

I think you can see that each of these “roles” has a certain set of expectations tied to them. And, since every company’s corporate culture varies, expectations for these same roles might be quite different.

For instance, in one company, the safety director might perform the role of a “cop” enforcing safety with an iron fist, while in another company; he or she might more appropriately be expected to perform the role of “consultant,” helping line managers with their safety responsibilities.

Roles and Responsibilities (continued...)

With Roles Come Responsibilities

Management safety responsibilities are assigned to line and staff positions within the company. Responsibilities include organizing, coordinating, and administering programs as appropriate.

Here are some examples of typical management and supervisor safety responsibilities:

  • Conduct or supervise Job Safety Analyses
  • Assure compliance with OSHA construction Safety standard requirements.
  • Conduct regular job site safety inspections.
  • Establish corporate safety procedures.
  • Coordinate regular Safety training.
  • Conduct or assist with Tool Box Talks or Five Minute Safety Talks.
  • Document training, inspections, injuries and illnesses, and other safety records.
  • Participate in accident investigations and implementation of corrective actions.
  • Involve employees in the implementation of the CSMS.
  • Create statistical reports that compare severity and frequency rates against prior records.

Roles, Responsibilities, Authorities, and Accountability

Stage 1: Develop a S&H accountability plan for managers/supervisors and non-supervisory employees.

Stage 2: Communicate and implement accountability plan. Assign additional responsibilities to non-supervisory employees as appropriate. Encourage subcontractors to adopt and begin implementing similar accountability plan or establish equivalent process.

Stage 3: Fully implement accountability system for all company and subcontractor workers, including incorporating S&H responsibilities into job descriptions and performance plans. Begin measuring performance of S&H responsibilities in annual performance appraisal processes.

Determine Safety Programs

Finally, in the design phase you’ll need to determine which specific safety programs will be a part of the CSMS. Every CSMS is composed of various programs that are actually quite similar in structure to the corporate SMS but they have a very narrow focus and are determined primarily by the type of construction performed by the company. Each program can also be created using the 3D process.

Below are just a few programs are usually included in the CSMS:

  • Safety Training Program
  • Safety Suggestion/Recognition Program
  • Industrial Hygiene Program
  • Hazard Communication Program
  • Confined Space Safety Program
  • Industrial Truck Safety Program
  • Construction Safety Committee Program
  • Electrical Safety Program
  • Asbestos Safety Program

We’ll discuss more about plans, policies, programs, processes, procedures and practices (the 6-P’s) in upcoming modules.



Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. According to the text, why is it important to understand the role you play at work?

2. Which statement tells everyone within and outside the company who the company is?

3. Which of the following would be considered an important safety responsibility assumed by line supervisors?

4. During which phase in the implementation process, would you gather a team of managers, supervisors, and employees to discuss CSMS roles and responsibilities of line and staff?

5. The purpose of the design phase in the implementation of the CSMS is to _____ that helps guide everyone in developing and deploying the CSMS.

Have a safe day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.