Safety management is an important part of a business. Companies will set up a list of standards and goals for employees to follow during normal operations to prevent accidents and destructive behavior. Some industries are regulated by government agencies because of the dangerous nature of the work conducted by companies. These agencies will also issue seals of approval for companies with strong safety management systems, creating goodwill for the company.
Safety Management System
Companies usually provide all departments and employees with a manual of guidelines for achieving safety management goals. This manual, known as the Safety Management System (SMS), provides a broad overview of the company’s safety policies, pertinent government regulations, and systems that ensure proper safety management. The objectives of the SMS will be routinely reviewed by management and employees to ensure that everyone understands the reasons for the SMS.
Internal Safety Goals
An important part of the SMS is instructing employees on the standards that help prevent workplace injuries. These standards are usually specific to the company’s industry, since some industries are riskier than others. Rules are laid out for necessary safety equipment, how it is used and where it is located in the department. Workers should be encouraged to discuss the SMS with management and provide ideas for improvement on employee safety.
External Safety Goals
Companies may also have goals for safety management with individuals outside of their employees. Retail, airline, food and construction industries are examples of industries that have safety goals for non-employees because their business operations occur around the public marketplace. Standards are used to create safe environments for consumers because accidents involving outside individuals can create major publicity issues for the company. Additionally, lengthy legal issues may arise if the company is negligent in protecting consumers.
Emergency preparedness plans are a special part of the company SMS. Companies must prepare their employees for any situation that can occur during normal business operations, including natural disasters, robbery, threats or medical situations. Policies for these events should be detailed and posted for employees to follow in case an emergency happens on company property. Planning for these situations can be difficult, but is necessary to prevent minor accidents from becoming major incidences.
Most company SMS manuals adhere to a government agency that publishes standards for a particular industry. These government agencies will review the company SMS to determine if it meets the government guidelines and if it provides effective information on safety management. Government agencies may also issue certifications that provide companies with a strong SMS a benefit for attracting new employees and customers.