Do you think that writing a safety program to comply with current laws and standards is as easy as reading the
standard or buying one off the shelf? Read on to find out what goes into a world-class program:
Step 1: Read and understand ANSI/AIHA Z10-2005, Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems. Go
to http://www.asse.org/practicespecialties/docs/Z10SpecialIssue.pdf download the pdf and read the document
especially the section "Legal Perspectives on ANSI Z10-2005".
Step 2: Read and understand the entire standard including the preamble. Understand what the standard is all
about. Why was it promulgated to begin with? What happened to require this standard and how does it relate to
your company? What was the thinking behind the standard to begin with? Read any related standards and
standards under other sections e.g. if you are in construction, what does the general industry standard say and
how do they relate?
Step 3: Read and understand any consensus standards e.g. ANSI. There is compliance and there is being sued.
Your program must be able to stand up to both. What is the industry consensus on this subject? What is the
most current research and thinking? What is the current standard of care? Have you understood the issues
and fully addressed them with the most applicable thinking?
Step 4: Read and understand OSHA compliance directives regarding the subject of your program. What
direction is being given to the OSHA compliance officers (or State or EPA etc.). What can you expect when you
have to discuss the program with them and defend it?
Step 5: Fully understand the company, the risks and exposures and the operations. This takes some time and
digging. A program must be company and site specific. There can be an overall program to cover an entire
company but each site must have a site specific program that specifically address the needs there. Find out
what related injuries have occurred in the past and what the exposures are.
Step 6: Begin to write the program constantly referring to all of the documents you have gathered and read.
Let N.L. Austin Consulting, LLC. help you write your safety programs!
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