Loss Prevention Program4 min read
Many employers are required by OSHA to have a written workplace accident and injury reduction (AWAIR) program, also know as a loss prevention program. In other states not regulated by a state-level OSHA, employers are not required to have an AWAIR program, but having a written loss prevention program is a good idea. Other written programs are required by federal OSHA for all states, such as a written Hazard Communications program, a Respiratory Protection program and Lockout/tagout program. To clearly define your goals in safety and to make safety a priority for your organization, develop your own Loss Prevention Program by including the following elements:
A. Your safety statement and objectives
The purpose of your safety statement and objectives is to formalize management’s commitment to the safety and health of its employees. Include: n An outline of your company’s safety goals, objectives and tactics. Set annual goals for your Loss Prevention Program, just as you set goals for the other facets of your business. Your goals might include: a reduction in eye injuries, consistent and proper scaffolding erection, or proper equipment operation. To help you achieve your loss prevention
objectives, establish specific action steps that will give direction to your Loss Prevention Program. For example, provide lifting training or training in proper scaffolding erection to all employees, or require the use of eye protection. n Clearly identify the responsibilities and authority of management, supervisors, employees and your safety committee. Explain how they will implement your safety program and how participation will be measured and maintained.
B. Work standards and rules
Work rules and standard operating procedures are designed to regulate employee actions. These rules define the actions and performance standards expected by management. These written rules should be specific to your company’s operations. Be sure to include standard operating procedures for all equipment use. Your rules might include descriptions of accidents that have occurred in your organization or warnings of accidents common in your industry, with suggestions on how to prevent them. Review your work rules and procedures annually taking into consideration accidents that occurred in the last 12 months.
C. Enforcement procedures
All employees are expected to attend training to become familiar with safety rules and to abide by them. Explain that failure to comply with any safety rule will be cause for disciplinary action. Clearly define disciplinary procedures such as a verbal warning, written warning, etc.
D. Employee training
Training of both new and current employees is an essential component of a Loss Prevention Program. Design your employee training to:
- Teach safety skills. Employees need to know how to work safely.
- Increase awareness of work hazards and prevention methods.
- Create an understanding of work rules and standard operating procedures.
- Develop an employee-management partnership that promotes safety.
E. Worksite safety review and inspections
Develop a safety review and inspection process to identify operational hazards and observe employee work methods. Periodic review and inspections allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your Loss Prevention Program. During a safety review you look for or observe the following:
- Workplace environmental hazards.
- Workstation set-up. n Work activity.
- Modified work tasks. n Employees’ awareness of conditions.
In the review and inspection process, do your best to eliminate the physical hazards identified. Then, modify standard operating procedures or workstations as needed. Document your inspections, including appropriate follow-up procedures. Determine whether past recommendations have been addressed and implemented.
F. Reporting process and accident investigation
Despite your precautions, an accident might still occur. When this happens, it is important that you report the injury to SFM and conduct an immediate and thorough investigation. Follow these steps:
- Report. If an employee is injured, SFM recommends following its “Five Step Response” process. 1) Duty to inquire. 2) Get the proper care. 3) Gather information. 4) Fill out the First Report of Injury. 5) Send it to SFM within 24 hours. See your SFM Employer Kit for more details and the necessary forms.
- Actual investigation. Determine the circumstances that surround the accident. Using a standardized investigation form can help you identify trends or problem areas. A Supervisor investigation worksheet is a resource you may download from SFM’s online resource catalog at www.sfmic.com to be used as a tool to investigate an accident.
- Follow-up. Take corrective action to prevent a similar accident from occurring again. Follow-up to ensure these corrections are made quickly. This might require increased safety training, additional safety equipment or safer work methods. Once you have written your formal Loss Prevention Program, have the president of your organization sign the statement to show that support for the program starts at the very top of your company. Then distribute it to all employees. That way they will know what is expected of them, and what they can expect from management.
Use the sample Loss Prevention Program attached to write your own. Be sure to personalize the program to fit the needs of your organization.
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