Introduction

The concept of safety management systems (SMSs) is not new. Despite that, for most US companies, the approach to safety consists of a variety of safety programs that are intended to meet the prescriptive OSHA standards and hopefully reduce or eliminate work-related injuries and illnesses. The reality is that most companies with disjointed programs and safety professionals "doing safety" never achieve their goals on a consistent basis. Using management systems as a best practice approach can be a powerful tool to achieve success over the long haul. The idea is to eliminate risks and create a core value of a safe workplace instead of only fixing the physical environment. This paper will briefly discuss some common safety management systems and show how one company successfully implemented an SMS that reduced injuries and illnesses, along with significantly improving employee engagement and the overall culture.

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