Section C Administration

There need to be programs and elements that give guidance on the management of occupational safety and health (OSH). These include principles and philosophies under which it functions as well as specifics that iterate the intent and how it fits into a practical approach of accomplishing its goals and ideals.

The contents of this section are as follows:

Chapter 11—Safety and Health Budget Chapter 12—Statistics and Tracking Chapter 13—Safety and Health Ethics Chapter 14—Employee Involvement

Chapter 15—Joint Labor/Management Safety and Health Committees Chapter 16—Workplace Inspections

Safety and Health Budget

Occupational safety and health (OSH) is an element that should be managed the same as any other company function. As a unique and separate management undertaking, it must have a separate and distinct budget with dollars allocated for the various responsibilities, mandates, and requirements placed on the OSH initiative. Some of the reasons why a safety and health budget is needed are as follows:

  • • To prevent negative impact from production pressures
  • • To place monetary value on safety and health
  • • To make safety and health a part of managing the company
  • • To provide financial emphasis on safety and health needs
  • • To make safety and health an integral part of the company's financial planning
  • • To show management's commitment

Without an extensive history of cost related to OSH, the development of a budget for safety and health can be a rather inexact undertaking. Without such a history of past budgets or spending on OSH, budgeting becomes somewhat of a guesstimate. This is not to suggest that a reasonable and logical budget cannot be formulated. However, the budget will require much more effort, research, and justification.

Over the years, there have been few seminars or classes regarding budgeting for OSH, and the only book that gives the topic a better-than-adequate coverage is Safety and Health Management Planning by James P. Kohn and Theodore S. Ferry. It seems safe to say that most safety and health professionals have had little or no training or experience related to budgeting for OSH unless they have had hands-on experience from having to develop budgets. This is a function of doing while learning and probably results in some painful and time-consuming lessons.

Budgets are usually considered to be a road map or planning document for the completion of the assigned tasks and responsibilities based on the resources allocated by the company and are never all that they should be or what a safety and health professional would want them to be.

Budget items should include the following:

  • • Personnel cost
  • • Equipment (both expendable and nonexpendable)
  • • Travel
  • • Administrative cost
  • • Compliance cost
  • • Contracts (e.g., hazardous waste disposal)
  • • Facilities
  • • Liability insurance
  • • Budgeting for hiring new personnel
  • • Budgeting for long-term or multiyear projects
  • • Allowance for unforeseen emergencies
  • • Cost for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) citations and violations

While it would be great to be able to predict the future and plan for events and items as though they would certainly happen, it is unlikely that the use of the budget as a precise document to follow will occur. Many factors are not in the control of the person responsible for OSH. Thus, the developers of an OSH budget must hitch their proverbial wagon to as many real-life safety and health issues as possible. This means that the best approach is to tie as much of the expenditures to compliance with regulatory requirements as humanly possible. Another approach is to show the use of dollars as intervention and prevention of potential cost (a cost avoidance strategy). A budget that is developed identifies specific items that are to be completed for a specific cost with proper justification and provides the resources to complete the agreed-upon safety and health task. A budget should be broken down into several identifiable categories, such as the following:

  • • Workplace health issues
  • • Workplace safety issues
  • • Safety and health management issues
  • • Environmental safety issues
  • • Product safety issues
 
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