Do you have a formal workplace health and safety program in place? How about a safety committee?
If your organization lacks either of these basic elements, your people and business are at risk. Safety programs and safety committees are crucial for protecting the well-being of workers, minimizing injuries and accidents, and avoiding the costs associated with occupational hazards.
But safety programs and committees are more than just best practices. Depending on what state or states you operate in, you may be legally required to have one or both.
As of December 2020, most states require employers to manage workplace safety and health through comprehensive safety plans and/or safety committees. Get the details by interacting with the map below:
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “[t]here is no general OSHA requirement for employers to establish or maintain a written, comprehensive safety plan or program.” However, that’s only a federal policy. OSHA explains that 24 states “require a safety plan or program” and 14 states “require an employee/employer safety committee at some or all workplaces in their jurisdiction.”
(This information comes from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s “Safety and Health Programs in the States” white paper, which you can download here [PDF])
Regardless of what your state requires, it’s a good idea to create a safety program and engage in regular safety committee meetings.
A consistent, systematic, and well-documented approach to workplace health and safety can save you tens of thousands—even millions—per year. Fewer incidents translate to higher productivity, lower workers’ compensation insurance costs, easier compliance, and plenty of other tangible benefits for your business.