Workplace Safety Policy Statement
It is up to the management of a public entity to vigilantly protect staff safety. Implementing a safety policy for your organization should be a top priority. Staff should be encouraged to report any unsafe conditions right away and should be trained how to react in an emergency involving potential violence at the workplace.
Goals of Policy
- A primary goal of a workplace safety policy is to establish the expectation that it is the responsibility of all personnel to create and maintain a safe work environment.
- State and local government workers are excluded from federal coverage under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA), therefore the entity’s safety policy should address the organization’s obligations under their state’s state workplace safety and health programs. There are three categories of plans:
It is good risk management for workplaces to train their staff annually concerning workplace hazards, such as hazardous chemical substances and blood borne pathogens.
Most workers’ compensation insurance policies require the organization to report a work-related injury or illness within a certain number of days, or risk loss of coverage.
To ensure proper coverage, it is prudent for the entity’s policy to require employees to report any incidents resulting in work-related illness or injury immediately or within 24 hours.
If your entity’s activities include taking care of children, the elderly or other vulnerable populations, employees run the risk of being exposed to diseases from these people and precautions should be taken to protect them.
The entity’s workplace safety policy should require employees to use universal precautions when applying first-aid or providing personal care to anyone within the workplace/worksite. Exposure at the workplace to diseases that are transmitted by body-fluids, such as Hepatitis and AIDS, is regulated by OSHA.
- State programs that are under plans approved by the U.S. Department of Labor are required to extend their coverage to public sector (state and local government) workers in the state. Twenty-two (22) states and territories operate plans covering both the public and private sectors.
- States without approved USDOL plans are allowed to develop plans that cover only public sector workers: Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and the Virgin Islands operate public-employee only plans.
- States without OSHA-approved state job safety and health plans may voluntarily provide safety and health protection to their governmental workers. Many states without approved safety and health programs do provide coverage to public employees, to varying degrees, through programs that do not receive federal funding and are not subject to federal OSHA oversight. (See resources at www.osha.gov/fso.osp/Public/Sector.html for more information.)
It is the intent of [public entity name] is to provide a safe environment for employees. It is also our intent to properly manage any incidents that occur so as to minimize injury and other forms of loss. A well-managed workplace safety program can benefit our entity and its people in countless ways.
In order for [public entity name] to achieve our goals, we have developed a workplace safety program outlining the policies and procedures regarding employee health and safety. Each and every individual must become familiar with the program, follow and enforce the procedures, and become an active participant in this workplace safety program.
While management [the workplace safety officer and workplace safety committee] will be responsible for developing and organizing this program, its success will depend on the involvement of each employee. We look forward to your cooperation and participation.