misconception is that safety is an isolated topic pursued
by specialists and misunderstood by line management.
That is true to the extent that managers have either
ignored or been unaware of safety procedures or have
chosen to take risks without considering the impact on
the total operation. As a manager, you must accurately
assess the impact of your decision on the organization
and its goals. You must know what steps to take to
incorporate safety procedures and processes into the
management process. If you decide to take risks, you
must do so with full knowledge of the expected impact.
Safety is economical. Absolute safety might be
achieved by doing nothing, but safety by definition is
associated with the pursuance of some endeavor,
industry, activity, or operation. Therefore, safety and
risk management are part of any operation, whether
consciously or unconsciously invoked by management.
Safety specialists must advise management/supervisors
of how safety will enhance productivity, operational
effectiveness, morale, and safe time in achieving
First-line supervisors are essential to safety
SOH management can be enhanced by safety
management principles and safety policy statements.
You can enhance the safety and occupational health of
your unit by observing safety management principles
and safety policy statements. Organizations should
publish these items as a guide for managers, supervisors,
and workers. The actions, processes, evaluations, and
corrections prompted by the safety staff, and used by
managers, supervisors, and workers, must incorporate
safety management techniques.
You may find the following SOH principles useful:
Good management fosters safety. Safety
management is the part of the management process that
watches for and takes steps to prevent potential hazards
and failures which could result in injury and property
damage. Safety is that part of the decision-making
process which considers the effects on workers,
material, and organizational relationships.
Safety is part of the professional job. SOH
concepts and procedures need to be integrated and made
part of the professional approach to every job from top
management through the first-line supervisor to the
worker. SOH should be integrated into all training and
apprentice programs. Safety demands cooperation
among all levels of management and workers.
Top management and command must be
involved. Top management must take the lead in
organizing SOH, setting policy, and assigning
accountability. Management must hold intermediate
management levels accountable for all preventable
mishaps. To be effective, mishap investigators MUST
NOT convict or punish managers, supervisors, or
workers, but should strive to impartially assess the
evidence and develop recommendations to avoid future
mishaps. The cause of a mishap may not be the result of
one single event or design flaw. Management must work
toward a safe and healthful operation or system through
effective managerial methods
management. First-line supervisors, shop foremen,
work center supervisors, and leading petty officers need
time to present stand-up safety briefings. They must also
have the proper tools and personal protective devices to
safely conduct operations. They should be given
adequate resources and should be accountable for the
safe conduct of production and operation.
Eliminate unsafe acts to reduce mishaps. An
unsafe act, an unsafe condition, or a mishap is a
symptom of problems in the management system.
Managers and supervisors should examine these
symptoms to find and eliminate their causes.
Severe mishaps should receive first priority.
Certain unsafe circumstances can be predicted and
controlled. The following are some examples:
Unusual, nonroutine activities
Lack of proper supervision
Inadequate operator skill
You should manage SOH as you would any other
organizational function. Direct the safety effort by
setting achievable goals and by planning, organizing,
and controlling to achieve them. Workers must
participate in goal setting and in developing mishap
prevention strategies and actions to reduce injuries and
The safety officer fills a staff position. The SOH
staff or the safety professional is an advisor. The
manager is responsible for safety and safe decision
making, including loss control and risk management.
The safety advisor must monitor and assist in the
investigation of mishaps. He or she collects data;