Drafting Safety Policy Statements

Introduction

Except for the petrochemical, chemical, marine engineering, construction industries and large factories; safety management rarely make it to Management’s top priority list.

This include the logistics; food and beverage industries. Nevertheless, where life and limbs are concerned, safety management should receive equally high importance.

Why It Matters to You

As a human resource practitioners, here are the reasons why you should care:

  • Accidents can lead to lower staff morale, down time, loss of limbs and lives.
  • Accidents may cause shock and trauma for witnesses.
  • Accidents needs to be investigated, documented and reported. Sometimes, management of public relations is needed.
  • Accidents may affect victim’s family members.
  • Accidents may lead to legal liabilities for compensation of work injuries as well as deaths.
  • Accidents require administrative work on insurance claims and may have an impact on insurance premiums.

Accident at Singapore Indoor Stadium (January 2013)

Besides being used for sporting events, the Singapore Indoor Stadium is used as a venue for musical concerts. The S$90 million was designed by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange and completed on 1 March 1987. It has a cone shaped roof, pillarless arena, with flexible stage and seats.

The victim was an employee of Electro-Acoustics Systems. The company was a contractor that maintain projectors and PA systems for clients. On the day of the accident, the victim and a colleague went to the stadium to check on a faulty PA system.

He went up to the ceiling walkway to look at the faulty system. This was about 9 metres from the ground (2 storeys high). He followed a stadium staff up the ceiling walkway. Both failed to wear safety harnesses and carry flashlights. Due to misstep, the victim fell from height and died instantly from internal injuries. The accident broke the Singapore Indoor Stadium’s long accident free record.

The witnesses who saw the motionless corpse were shocked and traumatised. They had to be brought for psychological counselling because their work also entailed working at height and with machineries.

The following are my personal assessment and opinion of the incident. The Singapore Indoor Stadium was no ordinary office building. The client company did station a safety officer there but he was unregistered,undergoing  training and was probably not around when the incident happened around lunch time. The managing director was a former military general with no engineering background. These are systemetic factors that led to a slack in safety management.

Don’t Be Complacent About Safety

Suggested Statement for Safety Management Policy

If you have difficulties in crafting out your own safety management policy, here are some suggested statements that you can use.

Occupational Safety and Health Policy

XYZ is committed to achieving the highest performance in Occupational Health & Safety with the aim of creating and maintaining a safe and healthy working environment throughout its business.

XYZ will strive to:

  • Seek continuous improvement in Occupational Health & Safety performance taking into account evolving community expectations, management practices and provide necessary resources in all areas of Occupational Health & Safety;
  • Comply with all applicable laws, regulations and standards and where adequate laws do not exist, adopt and apply standards that reflect our commitment to Health & Safety;
  • Ensure that Occupational Health & Safety will be an essential part of the planning process for all operational activities;
  • Ensure that all accidents, incidents and serious occurrences will be investigated and appropriate corrective actions taken;
  • Manage risk by implementing management systems to identify, assess, monitor and control hazards and by reviewing performance;
  • Ensure that all employees, contractors, and visitors are informed of and understand their obligations in respect of this policy;
  • Communicate openly with contractors and the community on OHS issues; and contribute to the development of relevant OHS policy, legislation and regulations;
  • Involve all employees and contractors in the improvement of Occupational Health & safety performance and ensure that all employees including contractors employees are expected to participate in ensuring that the objectives of this policy are achieved.

Commercial Kitchen Safety

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