May 19, 2020

You Need A Plan: Developing Company Safety Programs

To develop a safety program, one needs to address challenges associated with such responsibilities. For instance, look at often duplicate or conflicting information regarding productivity, safety, host requirements, government regulations and industry consensus standards, including National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.

To help contractors implement a company safety program, the National Electrical Contractors Association developed a safety manual and instruction guide that provides 30 templates based on common third-party evaluator requirements. The Standing Policy on Safety offers guidance on how to use the templates and provides information from host or third-party assessments and actions needed to ensure the safety program goes beyond simply meeting prequalification standards. This is achieved by ensuring that all NFPA 70E requirements are met and by providing recommendations for building an effective, comprehensive  safety-management system.

A number of issues must be considered. The most critical is written program documents that contain methods for keeping employees safe. Then there is understanding that the written program will be evaluated by different entities. They are the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and host employers (i.e., customers). Typically, host employers hire a third-party to evaluate the safety program. 

OSHA may review all or part of a program during an inspection. Each element is based on applicable regulations. These regulations may be specific or performance-based. Host employers review safety programs as a prequalification for awarding a bid. Components of the safety program may be required to address regulations, consensus standards and best practices. This evaluation is typically performed by a third party.

According to the NECA Safety Manual: “The industry trend has been an increase in the number of host employers performing a safety prequalification of electrical contractors and for the assessment to be performed by a third party.” 

Each safety program is available as individual Microsoft Word templates that can be edited, rebranded and uploaded for review. 

Each template will help ensure the safety program addresses required criteria. The program needs to align with each individual company’s unique organizational structure, procedures and resources. Additionally, it should comply with relevant OSHA regulations and compliance as well as industry consensus standards. 

In addition to the templates and instruction guide, Intec Inc. (the developer of the materials), will add new templates or update existing versions as needed. Workshops, webinars and other programs are also available. 

The NECA Safety Manual and instruction guide can be downloaded at https://www.necanet.org/store/product/neca-safety-manual.

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