Safety management aims at eliminating unsafe acts and unsafe conditions by applying management techniques. Following are the principles of health and safety management:
1. Safety is an important management function of every organization (like production, marketing, finance, and planning). The company must have a written safety policy. Management must be taken up the responsibility of implementing the safety policy. Management is responsible for creating Safety Organization, set safety objectives, plan, monitor and achieve desired results towards total safety.
2. Accidents are caused by unsafe acts and unsafe conditions. Safety management is responsible for both. The unsafe acts and unsafe conditions are due to some lapse in safety management.
3. Behind one accident there are several chances misses. The accident is a culminating effect of multiple causes. Root causes and several supplementary causes. For example, electrical flashover was caused by a person entering a clearance zone while the circuit was live. Principle cause was the unsafe act of entering in the clearance zone. The supplementary cause was a lapse of management in electrical safety. The following question was asked:-
Why the person was allowed to enter the clearance zone?
Why safety fencing was not provided?
Why the person was not aware of and risk?
Why was he not trained?
Who gave the work permit?
Why work permit was given without making the circuit dead earthed?
4. Unsafe acts and unsafe conditions can be identified in advance and eliminated at the root. For example, a bare live conductor can be replaced by insulated cable. Oil filled transformer can be replaced by dry resin cast transformer. Oil circuit can be replaced by a vacuum circuit breaker.
5. For achieving ultimate safety, each link in the safety chain must be healthful. A single weak link makes the whole safety chain weak.
6. Safety management systems and human resource development (HRD) in safety are the tools of every organization for ensuring safety. For ensuring safety the company must have safety management systems. The employees and the contractor’s persons must be trained to follow the safety management system.
7. Safety is a line Function as well as Matrix function. The function means along the hierarchical line of authority in the organization. viz., Manager → Supervisor → Worker, each is responsible for safety in his work and the area and follow down the lines.
Matrix means as a network of authority with interaction between department on horizontal and cross basis e.g., Engineering, Quality, Manufacturing, Maintenance interact in safety network.
While line authority is followed for administrative functions, safety is ensured by joint matrix efforts.
8. Bad work harms others. The harmful result of unsafe acts or unsafe work has consequences which are experienced by subsequent users down the line. The culprit may not even by aware of his mistakes leading to the accident in the future. For example, if the civil design is faulty, the persons working in the factory may be constantly under unsafe conditions. If the material used is not fire resistant, a small spark may cause a large fire, destruction of life and property.
9. Unsafe Acts and unsafe work today may result in a disaster after a lapse of time. The defects in civil construction work may result in larger destruction during a fire in some corner of the building during life entire span of the building.