Leaders Train Workers Why and How to Work Safely
One of the most important leadership activities that shows a strong commitment to safety is to ensure worker safety training is conducted by competent persons. To demonstrate the commitment to worker training, managers should:
- Create a safety training function and designate competent persons as trainers. Competent persons have experience, have completed a train-the-trainer course, and have been evaluated and certified as having adequate knowledge, skills, and ability (KSAs) to conduct training.
- Instruct workers on how to report injuries, illnesses, incidents, and concerns.
- Instruct workers how and why they should carry out safety responsibilities, including: hazard recognition and controls, Job Hazard Analysis (JHA), incident/accident investigations, and participation in safety committees and inspections.
- Instruct workers on concepts and techniques for controlling hazards, including the hierarchy of controls and its importance.
- Train workers on why, when, and how to wear required PPE.
- Provide additional training, as necessary, when there is a change in facilities, equipment, processes, materials, or work organization.
- Provide opportunities for workers to ask questions and provide feedback during and after the training.
Leaders Conduct SMS Evaluation and Improvement
After management develops a safety management system, sound leadership requires it be evaluated initially to verify that it is being implemented as intended. After that, employers should periodically, and at least annually, step back and assess what is working and what is not, and whether the program is on track to achieve its goals. To effectively demonstrate leadership, managers should:
- Measure safety management system performance using leading and lagging indicators.
- Share results with workers and invite their input on how to further improve performance.
- When opportunities arise, share results with all departments and workers in the organization, and with trade associations.
- Involve workers in all aspects of program evaluation, including reviewing information (such as incident reports and exposure monitoring results); establishing and tracking performance indicators; and identifying opportunities to improve the program.
- Verify that key processes are in place and operating as intended.
- Review the results of any compliance audits to confirm that any program shortcomings are being identified. Verify that actions are being taken that will prevent recurrence.
Leaders Correct Program Shortcomings and Identify Improvement Opportunities
Whenever a problem is identified in any part of the safety and health program, employers — in coordination with supervisors, managers, and workers — should take prompt action to correct the problem and prevent its recurrence. To effectively demonstrate leadership, managers should:
- Take actions needed to correct program shortcomings.
- Proactively seek input from managers, workers, supervisors, and other stakeholders on how to improve the safety management system.
- Determine whether changes in equipment, facilities, materials, key personnel, or work practices trigger any need for changes in the system.
- Determine whether key performance indicators and goals are still relevant and, if not, how to change them to more effectively drive improvements in workplace safety and