• Elements of an Effective Safety Management System

    Safety Management Systems are formal methods of measuring and evaluating both individual and organizational safety performance with an importance focused on continuous improvement.

  • What is a safety management system?

    A safety management system is:

    • A systematic, explicit and comprehensive process for managing safety risks that provides for goal setting, planning and measurement of performance against defined criteria
    • A formal method of measuring and evaluating individual and organizational safety performance with an emphasis on continuous improvement
    An Effective Safety Management System:
    • Reduces the risk of workplace incidents, injuries, and fatalities through data-driven measurements and improvements.
    • Involves engaging people and working in partnership to make safety a shared responsibility, recognizing the value of cross-level teamwork.
    • Is organized and structured to ensure that organizations are able to achieve and maintain high standards of safety performance.
    • Should be proactive, preventive and integrated into the culture of your organization.

    The National Safety Council encourages all organizations to adopt a safety management system as part of its Journey to Safety Excellence.

  • Let NSC help you with a Safety Management System Assessment

    The NSC Safety Management System Assessment uses a systematic approach that combines multiple points of measurement (both qualitative and quantitative) to gauge the effectiveness of managing safety risks while discovering the root causes of deficiencies.

    See consulting solutions for more information regarding assessment or implementation of a safety management system.

  • Continuous Improvement

    The Journey to Safety Excellence model is a framework for continuous improvement based on research and proven, effective practices for safety management systems, which emphasize people's contributions to progressive solutions for reducing risk and preventing harm. For more information, visit Journey to Safety Excellence.


    Feedback is valued. Send comments or questions to Katherine van den Bogert at Katherine.vandenbogert@nsc.org, or reach her at 630-775-2046.

  • Looking to Improve Workplace Safety?

    ​We've designed a roadmap, with free tools, resources and ways to connect with others, to help organizations of any size improve safety performance.

    Join the Journey
  • Measurement and Benchmarking—The keys to success

    Successful safety management systems use both leading and lagging indicator metrics to identify and correct deficiencies in your current safety programs.

    Employee perception surveys provide an overall assessment of your safety program, identify problem areas and prioritize opportunities for improvement.

  • Want to turn your results into action?

    ​Contact NSC to begin action planning.

    Start Today

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The National Safety Council saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

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