Every company must address the very real issues of safety and health. But while some companies have safety programs, others have integrated safety and health management into their overall approach.

An integrated Safety and Health Management System will help reach all the goals management sets for a business. You can ask yourself these simple sets of questions to discover where your business is on the Program vs. System continuum:

1. Are safety efforts primarily reactive to complaints or accidents?

2. Does management or safety staff address issues one by one?

3. Is awareness of regulations the concern of only a few individuals?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, your business is Safety Program oriented - reactive and staff driven.

1. Is safety staff accountable for defined activities and results?

2. Does safety staff continuously respond to complaints?

3. Is there a safety manager?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, your business is probably Safety Program oriented but positioned to begin integrating safety and health concerns into more general business management.

1. Are managers engaged and involved in safety- and health-related issues?

2. Is management held accountable?

3. Are employees involved in safety process?

4. Is regulatory compliance proactive?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, you probably have a Safety and Health Management System in place, but it may not yet be integrated.

1. Is the safety function consistently staffed, supported, and financed?

2. Is executive staff accountable for safety, and is their compensation affected by it?

3. Is safety a core value of the business?

4. Is safety in the strategic business plan?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, then your company is well on its way to having an Integrated Safety and Health Management System.

Risk identification begins with a situational assessment, analysis of data, and then a gap analysis. The elements of your analysis will most likely include:

n Leadership and administration

n Employee selection, assessment & placement

n Orientation & training

n Inspections

n Incident reports, investigation & analysis

n Work rules, procedures & permits

n Health & wellness

n Insurance & claims management

n Purchasing & engineering controls

n Communications & promotions

n Regulatory compliance

n System evaluations

Setting standards includes developing customized initiatives and setting priorities, and deploying strategies and drafting timetables.

When you evaluate your total Safety and Health Management System and how well it is integrated into your business management system, you look at the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities from both an internal and external perspective.

Internally, you'll evaluate your system against the standards you set for yourself. Externally, you'll compare your overall performance to other benchmarks.

Ryder's own Safety and Health Management System is best in class. Whether you want to benchmark your own processes against ours or let us help you build your own internal expertise, you can benefit from our dedication to effective risk management and process design.

QUOTE: Make safety and health an integral part of your business.