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The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.
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A safety management system (SMS) is a continuous improvement process that reduces hazards and prevents incidents. It protects the health and safety of your employees and should be integrated into everyday processes throughout the organization. Investing in an SMS makes a measurable impact on your bottom line and can be viewed as a competitive advantage. The adoption of an SMS framework and thoughtful implementation of the various facets can have significant impact on protecting employees and enhancing your organization’s performance and profitability. While safety requirements may differ across industries, exemplary organizations all focus on continuous improvement that aims for an ongoing reduction of risk with a goal of zero incidents.
About a year ago, knowing the new international voluntary standard for safety management systems, ISO 45001, was on the horizon, NSC started investigating all the prevalent SMS frameworks and identifying commonalities. We recognized many companies were getting bogged down with questions such as: What is a safety management system? How can it help me? Which framework is right for my business? How do I go about implementing an SMS? We knew the research supported the benefits of SMS implementation, but we sought clarity on what that looked like and a simple way to illustrate what elements constitute a successful SMS.
An effective safety management system has the following facets:
Learn more about NSC Consulting Services on Safety Management Systems.
Contract workers often perform higher risk jobs with little management supervision. An NSC study looks at the impact of contractor management programs on contractor safety.
“Employers want to reduce the rate of injury. But sometimes, despite best efforts, they get stuck. It helps to pause, look at what experts are saying, seek out others who have been in that situation, get everybody together – including workers – to find out why things are stuck.”
– Dr. John Howard, Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
In this guide for safety practitioners, you'll learn how to prepare a business case for investment in safety.
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