What is Safety program ?

Safety Program deals with the prevention of accidents and with minimising the resulting loss and damage to persons and property. Five basic principles must govern the safety programme of an organisation. The five principles are:

  • Industrial accidents result from a multiplicity of factors. But these have to be traced to their root causes, which are usually faults in the management system arising from poor leadership from the top, inadequate supervision, insufficient attention to the design of safety into the system, an unsystematic approach to the identification, analysis and elimination of hazards, and poor training facilities.
  • The most important function of safety programmes Is to programmes Is to potential hazards, provide effective safety facilities and equipment and to take prompt remedial action. This Is possible only if there are:
  • Comprehensive and effective systems for reporting all accidents and investigations.
  • Adequate accident records and statistics.
  • Systematic procedures for carrying out safety checks, inspections and investigations.
  • Methods of ensuring that safety equipment is maintained and used.
  • Proper means available for persuading mangers, supervisors and workers to pay more attention to safety matters.
  • The safety policies of the organisation should be determined by the top management and it must be continuously involved in monitoring safety performance and in ensuring that corrective action is taken when necessary.
  • The management and the supervision must be made fully accountable for safety performance in the working areas they control.
  • All employees should be given through training in safe methods of work and they should receive continuing education and guidance on eliminating safety hazards and prevention of accidents.

A safety programme generally contains six elements, namely:


  • Making strategic choices.
  • Development of policies, procedures and training systems.
  • Organisation for safety.
  • Analysis of the causes and occurrence of accidents.
  • Implementation of the programme.
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of the programme.

Strategic choices:  The first step in a safety programme is for managements to make decisions regarding safety of their workers. Many of the decisions made are based on strategic choices available to the organisation. Some of these strategic choices are:

  • Mangers must determine the level of protection the organisation will provide for employees. Some companies for financial or liability reasons, prefer a minimum level of protection, while other organisations choose maximum level of protection.
  • Managers can decide whether a safety programme will be formal or informal. Formal programmes will have written regulations and are carefully monitored. Informal regulations are enforced through peer pressure or good training.
  • In Mangers can also proactive or reactive in developing procedures or plans with respect to employee safety. Proactive mangers seek to improve the safety of employees prior to a need to do so, while reactive mangers fix safety problems after they occur.
  • Manager can decide to use the safety of workers as a marketing tool for the organisation. This type of safety would involve publicising what the company has done to promote safety and how safe the plant is to work with.

The four strategic choices listed above will also apply to issues relating to health of workers.

Safety Policy: The second step in evolving a safety programme is to have a safety policy. A policy specifies the company’s goals and designates the responsibilities and authority for their achievement. It may also provide caveats and sanctions for failing to fulfil them. There are differences in the form and content of corporate policies. Their style, however is not as important as the clarity with they indentify functional responsibilities and authority.

Specifically, a safety policy must contain a declaration of the organisation’s intent and means by which the intent is to be realised. As a part of the intent, the statement should emphasis four fundamental points:

  • The safety of employees and the public.
  • Safety will take precedence over expediency.
  • Every effort will be made to involve all mangers, supervisors and employees in the development and implementation of safety procedures.
  • Safety legislation will be complied with, in the sprit as well as the letter of the law.

The terms to realise the intent part of a policy refers to the organisation for safety.

Organisation For Safety: The third step in involving  a safety programme is to continue an organisation for safety. Companies constitute safety committees which are, composed of employees from across the organisation. Typically, safety committees serve in advisory capacities and are responsible for such tasks as reviewing safety procedures, making recommendations for eliminating specific safety and health hazards, investigating accidents, fielding safety-related complaints from employees and monitoring statutory compliance. SAIL has an exclusive safety organisation at Ranchi.

Many companies employ safety specialists to design and handle the day0to-day activities of the safety programme. Responsibilities of employee safety develops upon HR department whose task is to co-ordinate the activities of all those concerned with safety.

The top management cannot absolve itself of the responsibility of ensuring employee safety. In fact the managing director of the company is held responsible for an accident and is punishable with fine, imprisonment or both.

Risk management is becoming very common these days. A typical modern corporation carries a portion of risks. They include risks associated with industrial safety, process technology, hazards insurance, materials management and environment degradation. The simplest way of safeguarding one self’s insurance. But insurance to cover all risks may not be available or will be expensive, is available. Industrial risk management is the answer to the problem. The job of risk management is to assess all risk for frequency, probability and severity, and to take necessary steps to avoid or reduce the impact of potential losses, besides monitoring the results.

The trend nowadays is to constitute a separate department for risk management. Essar, for example has a 22-member which is called the Department of Environment, Risk and insurance Management. The team comprises experts in insurance and risk management, chemicals, electronics, mechanical and electrical engineering and environment science.

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