Small business owners (SBOs) have a unique opportunity to increase profits by controlling loss costs due to poor safety and health programs. The key to accomplishing this is to perform a safety and health evaluation. Such an evaluation reviews the policies and procedures of a company’s safety and health program to determine if they are working effectively and efficiently. These policies and procedures include management leadership, worksite hazards analysis, hazard prevention and control programs, accident and near miss investigations, employee involvement, safety and health training, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), the health program, and the emergency response program.

This checklist, which highlights areas of best practices used in successful safety programs, can be used to perform an evaluation of a small business’ safety and health program. On at least an annual basis, an SBO should review each “best practice” and compare it to his/her company’s policies and procedures. Those items marked “NO” are areas where improvement is possible that may result in an enhanced bottom line.

  Yes  No  N/A 
Policies and objectives are established and communicated to all employees.      
Top management is visibly involved in safety and health.      
Employees are involved in identifying and solving safety and health problems.      
All safety and health responsibilities are clearly assigned.      
Adequate authority and resources are provided to those with responsibilities.      
Managers, supervisors and employees are held accountable.      
Program operations are reviewed at least annually to evaluate success in meeting goals and objectives and to prepare new objectives.      
A baseline survey of hazards has been done or updated within the last three years.      
Change analysis is done for every change of facility, equipment, process, or material.      
Job hazard analysis is done on an ongoing basis.      
Self-inspections are conducted regularly by trained supervisors in their work areas.      
Broad, regular inspections are conducted periodically by adequately trained personnel.      
Employees know how and whom to notify about hazards, without fear of reprisal, and receive timely and appropriate responses.      
Accidents and near-miss incidents are investigated to identify all contributing causes and to prevent future occurrences.      
Reviews are done of injury and illness experiences over a period of time long enough for patterns of potentially common causes to appear.      
All identified hazards are prevented or controlled in the best feasible manner.      
Safe work procedures based on job hazard analyses have been established.      
Supervisors reinforce safe work through positive feedback and training.      
Enforcement of safe work procedures and safety and health rules is accomplished fairly and efficiently through a disciplinary system that all employees understand.      
New or existing hazards are identified and corrected in a timely manner.      
The facility and equipment are regularly maintained to prevent hazardous breakdowns.      
Arrangements have been made for occupational health specialists to provide medical services, including assistance in health problem identification.      
First aid and CPR-trained employees are available on every shift.      
Preparations have been made for all types of anticipated emergencies.      
Exits, evacuation routes, and emergency telephone numbers are prominently displayed.      
Employees can explain how and why they do the job safely and healthfully.      
Employees use all required PPE properly.      
Employees can explain why a PPE is used, how to use and maintain it, and what the limits of its protection are.      
Supervisors are able to explain the company’s safety rules and procedures for hazard control to workers, and are trained in how to enforce them.      
Managers can explain their safety and health responsibilities.      


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