Worker Participation Is Key

Research indicates that out-of-the box safety programs or programs mandated from C-level executives are not effective. They sit on office shelves (or computer drives) collecting dust.

What’s common among the most effective programs is that they are developed and implemented by teams composed of employees at all levels of the facilities. ACMA’s program provides overall program goals, suggests elements and approaches to develop programs, and links to helpful resources. But it’s critical that the written program for a facility be developed by the employees who will have responsibility for implementing it and who will directly benefit from improved workplace health and safety.

To get started, the plant manager or other company official responsible for operations at a facility might find it helpful to start with the following steps:

  • Appoint a team within the facility that will be responsible for development and implementation of the program.
  • Communicate clear expectations for performance of the team, and describe the resources that will be made available.
  • Direct the team to use a plant diagram to start locating and describing health risks and physical hazards.
  • Identify which member of the team will be responsible for using internal and external resources to collect and summarize information about risks and hazards.
  • Set a schedule for team meetings with implementation milestones, such as completion of first draft of written program, implementation of incident reporting and response, etc.
  • Use the implementation milestones to pace progress. Continuous improvement is the criteria for a successful program.

Accessing ACMA’s Program

The Workplace Safety Program section at the MyACMA portal (https://myacma.acmanet.org) provides the following resources:

  • Required program elements
  • A participation agreement for access to additional resources and recognition
  • Typical program elements for composites manufacturing operations
  • Additional resources, including a summary of applicable standards and regulations

Further resources are available in the Safe and Sound program section of OSHA’s website (www.osha.gov/safeandsound).