After a brief pause caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the NYS Dept. of Labor is again issuing citations for Industrial Code Rule 59, a program in which employers with an Experience Modification Rating over 1.20 must undergo a workplace safety consultation. The consultation centers around the employer’s workplace safety manual, policies, and procedures.
Regardless of your EMR, Safety Manuals have proven to be an extremely effective tool for guiding any organization to a zero injury workplace. When establishing a Safety Manual, one should include the following essential components:
- Management's Commitment to Safety – The leader of the organization should have the ultimate responsibility for safety. They can delegate aspects but must stay involved and visible.
- Safety goals – There should be stated goals, such as a reduction in injuries, zero injuries, a certain number of inspections, etc.
- Employee Involvement – The DOL demands that employees have input in developing safety rules.
- Safety Responsibilities – Responsibilities, such as training & inspections, should be assigned throughout the organization to supervisors, managers, and employees.
- Training – Employees and managers must be trained in how to recognize and respond to hazards.
- Hazard Reporting – The organization must set up a reliable procedure that enables employees to notify management of hazardous or non-compliant conditions.
- Accident Investigation – Set up a system to investigate accidents that identify the root cause(s) and meaningful corrective action.
- Inspections – Every safety program should outline how frequently, and who will perform facility inspections.
- Trending and Review – Periodically, the organization should review past incidents, assess the safety program, and determine if the program adequately addresses the exposures.
- Emergency Preparedness – Each organization should have written policies to educate staff on how to handle fire, natural disasters, power loss, and other types of emergencies.
While the effort to establish a safety manual may be tedious, it can have a lasting impact on safety, ultimately save money and enhance productivity. If you have any questions about safety manuals, please contact Ray Sullivan.