POLICY STATEMENT WORKSHEET
Policy statements can vary in length and content. The briefest are typically basic statements of policy only. Longer statements may include company philosophy. Still others will address the safety and health responsibilities of management and other employees.
Some policy statements will cover in detail items such as specific assignment of safety and health duties, description of these duties, delegation of authority, safety and health rules and procedures, and encouragement of employee involvement. While some companies may wish to include these additional items in the policy statement, OSHA believes it usually is best to leave these details for later discussion.
This worksheet is designed to help you develop your safety and health policy statement. It contains examples of specific statements often found in safety and health policies. These are examples only, but they may give you ideas for a policy statement that expresses your style, your attitudes and your values.
The written policy statement generally starts with a clear, simple expression of your concern for and attitude about employee safety and health. Examples of introductions of policy statements include:
- This company considers no phase of its operation or administration more important then safety and health. We will provide and maintain safe and healthful working conditions, and we will establish and insist on safe work methods and practices at all times.
- Accident prevention is a primary job of management, and management is responsible for establishing safe and healthful working conditions.
- This company has always believed that our employees are our most important asset. We will always place the highest priority on safe operations and on the safety and health of employees.
- The company will, at all times and at every level of management, attempt to provide and maintain a safe and healthful working environment for all employees. All safety and health protection programs are aimed at preventing accidents and exposures to harmful atmospheric contaminants.
- All members of management and all employees must make safety and health protection a part of their daily and hourly concern.
An effective safety and health program will have a stated purpose or philosophy. This is included in the written policy statement so that both you and your employees are reminded of the purpose and value of the program. You may wish to incorporate into your policy such statement as:
- We have established our safety and health program to eliminate employee work-related injuries and illnesses. We expect it to improve operations and reduce personal and financial losses.
- Safety and health protection shall be an integral part of all operations including planning, procurement, development, production, administration, sales and transportation. Accidents and health hazard exposures have no place in our company.
- We want to make our safety and health protection efforts so successful that we make elimination of accidents, injuries and illnesses a way of life.
- We aim to resolve safety and health problems through prevention.
- We will involve both management and employees in planning, developing, and implementing safety and health protection.
Your safety and health action plan will describe in detail who is to develop the program and make it work, as well as who is assigned specific responsibilities, duties and authority. The policy statement may include a summary of these responsibilities.
- Each level of management must reflect an interest in company safety and health and must set a good example by complying with company rules for safety and health protection. Management interest must be vocal, visible and continuous from top management to departmental supervisors.
- The company management is responsible for developing an effective safety and health program.
- Plant superintendents are responsible for maintaining safe and healthful working conditions and practices in areas under their jurisdiction.
- Department heads and supervisors are responsible for preventing accidents and health hazard exposures in their departments.
- Foremen are responsible for preventing accidents and health hazard exposures on their lines.
- Supervisors will be accountable for the safety and health of all employees working under their supervision.
- The Safety Director has the authority and responsibility to provide guidance to supervisors and to help them prevent accidents and exposure to health hazards.
- Management representatives who have been assigned safety and health responsibilities will be held accountable for meeting those responsibilities.
Many companies acknowledge the vital role of their employees in the operation of a successful safety and health program by summarizing employee roles and contributions in the policy statement. Here are some examples:
- All employees are expected to follow safe working practices, obey rules and regulations, and work in a way that maintains the high safety and health standards developed and sanctioned by the company.
- All employees are expected to give full support to safety and health protection activities.
- Every employee must observe established safety and health regulations and practices, including the use of personal protective equipment.
- All employees are expected to take active interest in the safety and health program, participate in program activities, and abide by the rules and regulations of this company.
- All employees must recognize their responsibility to prevent injuries and illnesses and must take necessary actions to do so. Their performance in this regard will be measured along with overall performance.
The closing statement is often a reaffirmation of your commitment to provide a safe and healthful workplace. It also may appeal for the cooperation of all company employees in support of the safety and health program.
- I urge all employees to make this safety and health program an integral part of their daily operations.
- By accepting mutual responsibility to operate safely, we all will contribute to the well-being of one another and consequently the company.
- We must be so successful in our efforts that total elimination of accidents, injuries and illnesses becomes a way of life.
Generally, a written safety and health policy statement will run 6 to 12 sentences in length. It will include some or all of the five elements listed above: an introductory statement, a statement of the purpose or philosophy of the policy, a summary of management responsibilities, a summary of employee responsibilities, and a closing statement.
One example of a safety and health policy statement is:
This company considers no phase of its operation more important than safety and health protection. We will provide and maintain safe and healthful working conditions and establish and insist upon safe work methods and practices at all times.
Safety and health shall be an integral part of all operations including planning, procurement, development, production, administration, sales, and transportation. Accidents have no place in our company.
We will work consistently to maintain safe and healthful working conditions, to adhere to proper operating practices and procedures designed to prevent injury and illness, and to comply with Federal, state, local, and company safety and health regulations.
Each level of management must reflect an interest in company safety and health objectives and is required to set a good example by always observing the rules as a part of the normal work routine. Management interest must be vocal, visible, and continuous, from top management to departmental supervisors.
All employees are expected to follow safe working practices, obey rules and regulations, and work in a way that maintains the high safety and health standards developed and sanctioned by the company.
We urge all employees to make our safety and health program an integral part of their daily operations. Then the total elimination of accidents and injuries will become not just an objective, but a way of life.