Business and Nonprofit

Risk management policy statement

Policy has been defined as “a written statement which expresses the wisdom, philosophy, experience, and belief of a company’s top management for future guidance toward attainment of stated goals.” A loss control policy statement should, therefore, reflect management’s philosophy and be compatible with the goals of the organization. This will provide the necessary guidance for everyone within the organization in the development and implementation of the loss control and safety programs.

There are many “canned” safety policies available. However, the most effective policy is one that expresses, in a personal way, top management’s intentions, sincerity, and determination. It should also be written to ensure that there will be no confusion concerning the direction and assignment of responsibilities.

The safety performance of an organization will depend on the actions taken by all of the individuals within the organization. One of the most important questions affecting an individual’s decision on the course of action that will be taken is, “What does the boss want from me?” The safety policy will provide the necessary guidance in answering this question.

Once written, the policy should be issued and signed by the chief executive officer or president.

The precise form of a written safety policy is not as important as its clarity in stating management’s sincere desires.

The policy should reflect their thoughts on the following:

  • What is the purpose of the safety program?
  • Will the safety program cover on-the-job safety, or will it include off-the-job, fleet, public, property damage, fire, and/or product safety?
  • Who will be assigned safety responsibilities and what will their duties be?
  • Will there be safety assistance in the form of a safety director and/or safety committee?
  • Who will have the authority to administer the safety program?
  • Which standards will guide the program?

Once formulated, written, and printed, the policy must be conveyed to all employees. Additional copies should be posted where appropriate as a constant reminder.

In an effort to maintain employee awareness of top management’s commitment to safety, the policy statement should be issued annually. Any new goals and objectives will be publicized in this manner.

The safety policy statement is management’s expression of the direction to be followed. The benefits are:

  • It makes it easier to enforce safe practices and conditions.
  • It makes it easier for supervisors to comply with company policy.
  • It makes it easier for employees to follow safety instructions.

Examples of a Loss Control Policy Statement:

“As the chief executive officer of your company, I am greatly pleased that we are in the front rank in the promotion of employee safety. I want all of you to know it is my definite policy, both personal and official, that everything within reason shall continue to be done throughout the company to maintain or better our position. I consider the safety of personnel of first importance in our plants, laboratories, and offices, and I ask your full cooperation in making this policy effective.”

“People are our most important asset—their safety, our greatest responsibility. We can and must operate our plants and offices without accidents. Safety is one of the most important responsibilities each of us has as a management representative. It is important because failure to succeed means emotional and financial hardship for some employee and his or her family, loss of prestige for the company in the community, and the possibility of seriously affecting the friendliness and cooperativeness of our workforce. If we utilize to the fullest the talents of our management team, I feel certain our efforts to achieve accident-free operations will be successful.”

“Industrial injuries are always costly to the individual worker and often disastrous to his future and the security of his family. They are also costly to the company, both in direct financial burdens and in the reduction of efficiency. It is the firm and continuing policy of the management of this company that industrial accidents shall be reduced or eliminated by the use of every reasonable mechanical precaution and by aggressive promotion of safe practices within the plant. Every employee has an important role in the accident prevention program and is expected to cooperate fully in the measures taken for safety.”

“The safety of employees continues to be the first consideration in the operation of our business. Working conditions should not only meet accepted standards for the protection, safety, and health of employees but should be maintained in a clean and orderly state so as to encourage efficient operations and satisfied employees.”

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