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The Importance of SAFE Assessments

Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Chris Pfeiffer
SAFE Assessment

A strong safety culture is the foundation of every organization’s safety program. If the culture isn’t solid, no amount of training or written programs can account for the shortfall. However, very few people know how to thoroughly assess a safety culture and properly detect opportunities for improvement.

SAFE assessments will provide you with a roadmap for improvement while recognizing the strengths of your current program and practices. This valuable tool can also be used in the marketing of your commercial insurance program by providing underwriters with the extensive and valuable information they need to price the insurance programs.

Our proprietary SAFE Assessment evaluates 10 critical elements of a client’s safety and risk management program, which are highlighted below.

Factor #1: Leading and Lagging Indicators

Leading indicators prevent worker fatalities, injuries and illnesses while strengthening other health and safety outcomes in the workplace. Lagging indicators measure the occurrence and frequency of past events, including the rate of injuries, illnesses and fatalities. While lagging indicators can detect weaknesses in your safety program, leading indicators are important because they can tell you whether your plan effectively prevents incidents.

Factor #2: Hiring Practices

When a new employee enters the workplace, your organization should ensure they receive proper safety training and are capable of handling all physical elements of their position. If your orientation program does not address this, it’s time to reevaluate and adjust accordingly.

Factor #3: Accident Investigation

How do you handle the aftermath of a workplace accident? A strong Accident Review Board will conduct an investigation to determine the root cause and form a plan to prevent it from occurring again.

Factor #4: Injury Management Programs

If an employee is injured on the job, injury management can help with their treatment and recovery. It offers the healthcare services your employees need to return to work and facilitates them safely performing work while they recover.

Factor #5: Management Programs

The attitudes of owners and managers toward job safety and health will impact their employees. If leadership is not interested in preventing employee injury and illness, employees will probably not give safety and health much thought. It is important to educate management on the importance of devoting time to a health and safety program.

Factor #6: Written Programs

An effective written safety program can reduce the extent and severity of work-related injuries and illnesses and decrease workers’ compensation premium costs. When your safety program is in writing, your employees are more likely to remember best practices and specific training.

Factor #7: Training Programs

An effective accident prevention program requires proper job performance from everyone in the workplace. It’s important for all employees to know about the materials and equipment they work with, potential hazards they face and ways to overcome the dangers in the workplace. Your OSHA state consultant can provide training recommendations for your worksite.

Factor #8: Safety Observations and Audit Programs

One of the most important elements of an effective safety program includes routine, documented safety observations and safety audits. They help assure unsafe conditions and behaviors are identified and corrected. Documented safety audits also protect employers from OSHA citations arising from the unpreventable misconduct of their employees.

Factor #9: Work Area Safety Practices

It’s important to be aware of the elements in your workplace that could cause harm, accidents or other negative consequences to your employees. Our SAFE assessment will address potential hazards and ways to prevent accidents.

Factor #10: Transportation-Related Safety Programs

Clients in the transportation industry and clients with larger fleets of vehicles, including private passenger vehicles, are exposed to the risk of catastrophic incidents that result in higher costs, bad publicity or cancellation of auto insurance coverages.

Have You Scheduled Your SAFE Assessment?

The vast majority of accidents and injuries result from unsafe behaviors. The culture to which the employee is exposed can influence the decisions their employees make throughout the day. In fact, measuring improvement in safety culture is one effective way of measuring leading indicators, rather than waiting on counting the lagging indicators such as accidents and injuries.

The Horton Group is available to conduct a SAFE Assessment for your organization and help you analyze the result to revamp your safety plan. This great service is only accessible to clients, reach out to a member of Horton Safety Consultants here to coordinate.

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.