Now let’s take a look at safety policies and processes to see how they fit into the CSMS.
Safety policies help to set standards and guidelines for decision-making. They let managers, supervisors and employees make safety decisions with some degree of confidence without having to constantly check with "the boss." Managers, supervisors and workers know they are making decisions that conform to corporate safety policies.
The safety policy is usually stated in three different ways:
Below are a few more examples of various safety policies that may be important to include:
It’s important to understand the difference between "rules" and "guidelines". It’s simple: rules are required – guidelines are not.
To be valid, rules include words like "must", "shall", or "will". Remember, rules do not give a person a choice: they are mandatory. By the way, if no word is listed, assume it’s a rule.
Guidelines, on the other hand, do give employees a choice. They contain words like "should", "recommend" or "may." It’s very important to know that you can’t really "enforce" guidelines because they are voluntary. If you find that you have guidelines and rules listed together, be sure to define the concepts and separate them so that everyone clearly understands the difference.
You're probably familiar with the safety rules within your company, but, just to make sure, we've listed a few of the more common rules generally found at construction sites:
A process is nothing more than sequence of interdependent and linked procedures. Each CSMS program may include one or more processes used to build residential or commercial buildings, construct highways or to construct dams. The emphasis would be to ensure safe procedures and practices.
Here are some more common processes for building a residential building.
We'll discuss two more common processes within CSMS programs in the next few sections.
All accidents on your worksite resulting in injury or property damage should be investigated. The investigation is a very important process that includes procedures for documenting the accident scene, analyzing the facts, and interviewing witnesses.
The accident investigation process will make sense if you understand that ultimately, the purpose of the investigation is to improve the safety management system. If you conduct the investigation for any other reason, it will likely result in ineffective solutions.
Here are the six basic procedures in conducting accident investigations.
"Accountability" can be thought of as the "obligation to fulfill a task to a required level of performance or else." When you are held accountable, your performance is measured against some specific criteria or standard and consequences are applied appropriate to the level or quality of performance.
Ultimately, without the expectation of consequences, an accountability program will lack credibility and effectiveness. In other words, no consequences - no accountability. Consequences need to be appropriate as well as effective. This is the element with which everyone is probably most familiar. Unfortunately, in some companies, consequences are either not appropriate, not effective, or both.
There are some violations that are so dangerous to the worker and/or others that they will result in immediate termination if justified. For more information on developing an effective accountability program that includes an effective disciplinary process, be sure to take Course 700, Introduction to Safety Management, 702, Effective Accident Investigation, or 704, Hazard Analysis and Control.
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