Safety and Health

Essay by novelette321 July 2007

download word file, 7 pages 4.5

�PAGE � �PAGE �10� Safety and Health

Safety and Health

Safety and health issues are an important concern throughout the world. Employees who work in the United States and out of the states need to feel safe and obtain a sense of security. Before 1970, there were no regulations for safety hazards in the workplace, and no accountability for accidents which occurred on the job. Companies controlled the workforce and the environment. The passing of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) changed the future for employees. The law gave protection to workforce and forced employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace, plus created accountability.

Most employers are mandated by OSHA regulations. Today, safety is a serious concern, and most companies have developed a safety and health program with guidelines for the employees and employers to follow. The following is a variety of four companies with a brief description of their safety and health programs for comparison to determine their effectiveness and uniqueness:

Verizon Communications is a multi-billion dollar corporation and is one of the leading providers of telecommunication service.

Verizon considers safety very seriously because they are heavily regulated by OSHA. An intra-company web-site is available to all employees for matters concerning safety. The safety program consists of the following:

Verizon safety creed. The demands of the service are never so great that we cannot take the time to perform our work safely.

Accountability. Supervisors are accountable for preparing employees to fulfill their safety and occupational health responsibilities. Each Verizon employee is accountable for understanding and implementing the safety and occupational health requirements for their job.

Verizon Safety Management Organization. The management safety team provides subject matter on al issues such as: Occupational safety and health matters, safety and health regulatory compliance with OSHA, illness/injury/vehicle collision prevention and hazard identification and control.

Safety Program Components. Verizon safety management develops and distributes safety and health policies, procedures, incident-related safety alerts, safety lesson plans, quarterly national safety awareness bulletins, and updates in the HR Weekly newsletter.

Tools. Verizon provides environment, safety and workforce performance websites, staff conference calls, periodic face-to-face meetings, e-mails, web cast, and video tapes.

The Marriott is one of the top 25 leading hotel chains in the nation, employing approximately 192,000 people and conducting business in 67 countries. The Marriott believes strongly in providing their employees a safe, secure and drug free environment to work in. The Marriott's safety program is top-notch and consist of the following:

Compliance of safety rules.

Health and safety strategy.

Workplace inspection.

Abide to citation and penalties.

Workplace conditions.

Management policy and leadership on all aspect of safety and training.


Record keeping and reporting injuries.

Emergency equipment and exits.

Implementing safety policies consistently.

Learning aids, such as: videos, dvd's and intranet physical and verbal training.

Ashley Home Stores is a furniture distributor, who was the largest in the nation and with strong management, innovative ideas, and quality furniture for a reasonable price, has become the largest distributor of furniture in the world. Ashley is mandated by OSHA regulations, and is currently working with OSHA to become compliant. The company safety program consist of the following:

Company creed. Ashley is committed to assuring the highest standards of safety by applying its financial resources and personnel to create a safe working environment, where associates can work without injuries.

Accountability. The managers are responsible to research and help implement policies that interact in all departments. They are also responsible to observe and review employees to ensure that the employees learn from their previous errors, while continuing to improve. Associates are responsible for ensuring a safe work process which is part of their job performance review.

Training. The managers are trained to be responsible for managing health and safety within the entire company to help be proactive to prevent injuries. The training goal is to train their employees to work without causing injury to themselves or others. The managers are trained to address any associate or vendor who disobeys the safety rules.

Management safety team. The company created an emergency management department, to oversee all safety related issues. The management team demonstrates leadership, dedication, and commitment of a safe and healthy work environment by strong support of the associates.

Goal. The company goal is to ensure the highest regard of safety for the associates by working together as a team.

Tools. Learning aids for safety training include videos, dvd's and written material.

Electrolab Traning Systems provide the Canadian industry with top quality training programs and equipment from world-renowned producers for over the past 30 years. All government agencies are involved, including OSHA, because throughout the world machinery, electrical, chemical, and hazards exist. Electrolab provides their employees with the "Safestart" safety program:

Company creed. Electrolab Training Systems, where training and observation creates a safer environment to work in.

Company checklist. Electrolab provides a checklist for their employees to consider, which are broken into four states: rushing, frustration, fatigue, and complacency.

Critical errors. The four states can cause or contribute to four critical errors:

Eyes not on task (not watching what you are doing).

Mind not on task (daydreaming).

Line of fire (in the way of people or equipment).

Balance/traction/grip (loose footing, handle or grip on something).

Accountability. Each employee is to self-check and watch others, incase a mistake is being made that possible could be corrected in order to prevent an accident. This practice is expected to be used at home and work at all times.

Meetings. Electrolab conducts monthly safety meetings covering past accidents and goals.

Feedback. Electrolab encourages feedback from their employees. An example from a safety meeting would be: Someone stated that people do not comprehend a word unless it is repeated two or three times. Management took the statement under advisement and proceeded to input this process into their safety meetings for the purpose of analysation and prevention.

Safety policy. The following information is detailed in the safety policy: Management policy, safety policy, company, workers' comp, general safety rules, vehicle operation rules, employee acknowledgment, management leadership, assignment of authority, implementing safety policies and work rules, employee orientation and training, hazard abatement, commitment to injured workers, injury statistics and reports, record keeping, unsafe accidents, emergency equipment, emergency exits, property damage.

Tools. Learning aids such as video's and slides are available for employee training.

Safety and health programs are fairly similar among the companies describe above. The companies are all mandated by OSHA and have policies in place for reporting procedures. The companies all have a management person assigned to enforcing policies and procedures, and most conduct monthly safety meetings to distribute safety information. All four safety policies summarize employee responsibility and accountability. The companies are unique in the sense that some have extra policies that others do not such as vehicle policies, workplace inspections and hazard conditions. One of the companies has a process for discipline for minor infractions, near misses, or neglectful behavior. Another company uses employee feedback as an important safety too. Even though companies may go about distributing information differently, all four of the companies listed above consider safety a very important issue.

Most companies use the same main components in safety and health programs. The common thread that the above companies use for their programs are: Identify and communicate what hazards exist, re-enforce safety practices, and promote safety issues within the company. Managers, supervisors and human resource representatives meet together and discuss potential problems relating to safety and develop action plans or corrective methods. Some of the companies study past accidents for relationships in departments, and for comparisons looking for common denominators. After studies have been conducted, the companies develop amendments to existing health and safety plans, which meet OSHA requirements. Most amendments are done on a yearly basis, because of the OSHA inspections and recommendations. Companies are very attentive in keeping a compliance status with OSHA, due to the heavy fines that could concure.

As safety is growing health concern in today's time, America's increasing corporations are on a steady incline, adapting to meet the needs of the employees. OSHA sets the guidelines for all governmental businesses. The standards are met by companies outside of the scope of governmental businesses as well. In most corporations, safety is of the utter-most importance. Teaching the skills that are required by OSHA is imperative to achieving these goals. Therefore, every employee has to complete a certain quota of hours in the area of their safety and the safety of others on the job. Afterwards, some companies test the employees on their knowledge. The scoring of the test is not a pass or fail, but determines whether or not the employee needs further training. These skills are not only beneficial on the job but also outside of the spectrum of work. Annual classes are required by some companies to ensure that the employees are aware of the changes in the workplace and the laws, which is also helpful in increasing the employees' confidence in their ability and competence of particular issues.

OSHA is involved in the safety programs that companies provide by conducting regular inspections of their facilities. An OSHA representative conducts unannounced visits to companies to ensure that all the compliance of OSHA requirements is met. OSHA officers' focus on four main items:

Record keeping for providing employee information on regular safety practices. Records on deaths, injuries and illness.

Walk-Through tours of company premises to conduct inspections for safety violations.

Random interviews with company employees inquiring about safety issues or concerns.

Private meetings between OSHA officers and company management representative to discuss compliance, violations or corrective actions.

In conclusion, all four companies in the research above are mandated by OSHA regulations. All four companies hold safety as a critical and serious issue, and every company has a formally written safety policy, which is issued to their employees. Accountability is maintained by a management employee to enforce safety practices in all four companies. Monthly safety meetings are also present in all four companies, and most use training aids such as videos, dvd's, written material, and information newsletters, which is retrieved from the internet. Three out of the four companies have a company safety creed, however, only one company has a feedback system in place for employees to voice their opinions or concerns. All in all, the safety programs are similar and strive to meet the same goal, which is to provide their employees with a safe and healthy place to work.


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