Safety Strategy

Last updated: December 14, 2019

What Does Safety Strategy Mean?

A safety strategy is a high-level plan that is designed to help workers meet one or more workplace safety goals. They may be developed by individual workplaces, whole companies, or governments. As high-level plans, they describe specific safety goals (e.g., “embed safety education into all workplace preparation programs”) but do not describe or otherwise develop the specific safety policies that must be implemented to achieve those goals. The specific implementation of safety policies is a lower-level detail that is dealt with by discrete, policy-focused safety plans.

Safeopedia Explains Safety Strategy

A safety strategy provides workplaces with defined targets to aim for as part of their safety plan; for example, zero-injury targets and improvements in safety culture are both goals that could form part of a safety strategy. Once the strategy is in place, implementation plans can be developed to meet the goals of the strategy, and the success of those plans can be evaluated in terms of how effective they are at meeting those goals.

Safety strategies are often developed by governments, industry groups, and other large organizations that do not have the ability to implement specific policies and practices in individual workplaces, but which still want to provide general safety guidelines. Government safety strategies may also include strategies for the government itself to develop and improve its work; for instance, by creating goals related to increased oversight, streamlined regulations, or modernized exposure limits.

A safety strategy is often the highest level safety program used in the workplace. A workplace safety policy (e.g., clean floors 2x per day) forms part of a workplace safety plan (e.g., keep the workplace tidy), and a workplace safety plan forms part of a workplace strategy (e.g., eliminate accidents related to falls, slips, and trips).

A workplace safety strategy is an effective way to ensure that the safety planning process emphasizes continuous improvement, is reflective of actual workplace safety conditions, and focuses on the safety elements that are most urgent within a particular workplace. For example, safety programs designed to encourage employers to implement policies that address OSHA’s “Fatal Four” construction hazards (falls, struck-by objects, electrocution, and crushing) are a form of a safety strategy.


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