When Do You Need A Full Time Safety Manager?

December 10, 2018 No Comments

Recently I was asked by the HR Director at a growing company, “at what point are we large enough to need a full-time, in-house, safety manager?”  This is a great question that I have been asked before, but unfortunately there is no easy black and white answer.

One needs to consider a number of factors when determining if the time is right to hire a safety manager.  Consider:

  • What are your accident frequency and severity rates?  How do theycompare with your competitors rates?
  • What is your workers compensation insurance “experience modifier”?  
  • Are you in a high hazard industry? 
  • Have you recently received an inspection from OSHA that resulted in high cost citations? 
  • Is senior management satisfied with the safety program and its’ results? 
  • Are employees (or the union) expressing concerns about safety or health issues?  
  • How much time are the current managers spending on safety related activities, and would their time be better spent doing their main jobs?

Sometimes companies will  hire a full time safety manager before they actually need one.  They will then back fill by assigning the new safety manager other responsibilities to keep them busy.  These activities often include:  plant security, environmental compliance, workers compensation claims, risk management/insurance, and supervising housekeeping and pest control contractors.

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