Written safety programs are a big part of our job.  I know my shelves are filled with binders of them. But, there is nothing worse than writing a safety program that just collects dust and it never followed.

Over the years I have tweaked and improved my safety program process to the point that it is routine. And, the programs are accepted and followed by everyone on the team.  It is as simple as making it a team effort.


Most programs are going to have an effect on the employee actually doing the work.  You can’t be the hammer, just telling them what to do. Creation of safety programs should include the employees.

Truth is, the front-line workers know more about the job than anyone else.  Use their knowledge when you see a safety hazard that needs to be fixed.  When you are writing the program, get them involved early and often.


The first people that need to approve your new written safety program are the employees and the front-line supervisor.  If they are giving you push-back in the draft stage of the process, they will continue to push against it forever.

Once they are on board, it is time to take it to the management team.  They have a different perspective and goals than you do; and different than what the employees have.  So, expect some suggestions for change.

Just like the employees. If your management team does not like it, they will never hold people accountable to it.  Don’t try to push your way through.  Work as a team to come up with a program that works for everyone.


Once approved, don’t just send an email, put up a posting, and file it away – Make it an event!

Have a launch plan to really kick off the safety program.  This brings awareness to the program, allows you to train more effectively, and is a time to make sure it is fully understood.


Now that you have an awesome new safety program in place, don’t let it collect dust.  It is a recommended practice for safety programs to be reviewed for updates and applicability.  Make a plan to review your program at least every two years.

Keep a good revision history for legal and regulatory purposes.  Listen to the podcast for my story of needing safety policies from 10 years ago.


Now that you know my process for creating and implementing written safety programs, take a moment and review yours.  Make a list of all your safety programs and the last time they were updated.  Create a schedule to review and update each of them. Maybe one every two months.


It is harder to include employees and management in the process, but I have learned that when you look at the big picture and allow the collaboration, the program always turns out better than if you did it all by yourself.

I want to know what your experience has been.  Have you every included employees in the process?  What were the results?  What do you think about my process?  Leave a comment below and share your story.

Highlights From This Episode:

  • Step-by-step process for implementing written programs
  • Including employees and management in the process

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Hi, I’m Brye (rhymes with sky)!  I am a self-proclaimed safety geek with two decades of general industry safety experience.  I train and coach new safety managers on how to effectively do their jobs in the real world.  I specialize in bringing safety programs to a world-class level and building a safety culture.  I would love to help you do the same.

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