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Developing a Profitable Strategy for Handling Occupational Safety and Health

Developing a Profitable Strategy for Handling Occupational Safety and Health

Nobody wants accidents to happen in his or her business. A serious fire, a permanent injury, or the death of an employee or owner can cause the loss of profit or even an entire business. To prevent such losses, you don't have to turn your business upside down. You may not have to spend a lot of money, either. You do need to use good business sense and apply recognized prevention principles.

There are reasons why accidents happen. Something goes wrong somewhere. It may take some thought, and maybe the help of friends or other trained people, to figure out what went wrong, but an accident always has a cause-a reason why. Once you know why an accident happened, it is possible to prevent future incidents. You need some basic facts and perhaps some help from others who already know some of the answers. You also need a plan-a plan to prevent accidents.

Not all dangers at your worksite depend on an accident to cause harm, of course. Worker exposure to toxic chemicals or harmful levels of noise or radiation may happen in conjunction with routine work as well as by accident. You may not realize the extent of the exposure or harm that you and your employees face. The effect may not be immediate. You need a plan that includes prevention of these health hazard exposures and accidents. You need a safety and health management system.

It is not difficult to develop such a plan. Basically, your plan should address the types of accidents and health hazard exposures that could happen in your workplace. Because each workplace is different, your program should address your specific needs and requirements.

There are four basic elements to all good safety and health programs. These are as follows

1. Management Commitment and Employee Involvement. The manager or management team leads the way, by setting policy, assigning and supporting responsibility, setting an example and involving employees.

2. Worksite Analysis. The worksite is continually analyzed to identify all existing and potential hazards.

3. Hazard Prevention and Control. Methods to prevent or control existing or potential hazards are put in place and maintained.

4. Training for Employees, Supervisors and Managers. Managers, supervisors and employees are trained to understand and deal with worksite hazards.

Regardless of the size of your business, you should use each of these elements to prevent workplace accidents and possible injuries and illnesses.

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