These programs are used widely in the construction and manufacturing fields across North America. Generally it is a system of recording events and assigning responsibility to all levels of the company. The owner has his responsibilities and they are clearly laid out while managers and supervisors have their responsibilities as well. Even the workers and visitors have responsibilities they must live up to.
These responsibilities are clearly laid out on the second page of the safety program and all people can see it and know what their job is as far as the safety program goes. A Health and Safety program only works if management is directly involved in the day to day operations of the program. It is no surprise the more active owners are in their health and safety programs the more effective they are. Once the workers see the owner is following the rules about PPE in the shop and so forth they will be far more willing to fill out the paper work and follow the company rules.
How do health and safety programs keep workers safe anyway? This is a question I am asked on a fairly regular basis. The very simple answer is that incidents and close calls are reported and investigated right away. If there is a better or safer way of doing things it is discovered before the incident has a chance to repeat.
An example of this is for you to hypothetically drive through a stop sign for days and days. Although no one would actually do that you can imagine the results. Yes probably a fatality would occur. But if a worker reported that the stop sign was missing at the end of the road and made all the workers aware of it then nobody would go through more than the first day. Chances are we would be dealing with a near miss or close call.
Workers also get a bit of a different attitude when the boss cares more about workers and their health and safety instead of the profits behind the scenes. Don’t get me wrong, I know the company has to make money or there would be no workers and no boss or equipment. How do we resolve the issue of making money yet keeping people safe and not being absolutely ridiculous as we have all see on some jobs?
This a very complex situation but generally on larger jobs use the health and safety personnel to point out what is needed for certain aspects of the job you are bidding on. This way if the costs are in your bid you will be less likely to take short cuts and run into cost overruns or job shutdowns because prime contractor does not like the way you are going about the task at hand.
The most common certification for common health and safety programs is called the Cor for larger employers and Se-Cor which stands for small employer. Cor means certificate of Recognition. May larger prime contractors will insist all subcontractors have a Cor or Se-Cor Health and Safety programs before they will even put you on their vendors list.
Depending on where you live in the world there will be many different ways of going about getting certified with Cor or Se-Cor.
In all parts of Canada we have Certifying partners. They differ from province to province but they all serve the same purpose. They have formats they develop that meet all the criteria of the governing body such as government. They are audited each year by the government for compliance and have the power to audit your Health and safety program and determine if it meets the criteria. Audits on health and safety programs must be done annually and must be audited by external auditor every three years.