Creating a loss control plan can be compared to constructing a house. Certain steps must be completed before another. A foundation must be laid before walls and a roof can be erected. Just like a house needs a solid foundation, the same is true for a loss control plan. If a quality foundation is not established, both will fail.
The top management of an organization should hold the responsibility of the loss control program planning, as an effective loss control plan is necessary to eliminate avoidable injury, casualties and expenses. When implementing a loss control program, consider the following fundamentals:
- State the reasons for having the program. These objectives will determine the depth and scope of the program’s development.
- Write a policy statement and explain it to all employees. It should clearly outline the objectives and demonstrate the intentions in achieving an effective program.
- Assign responsibilities to all staff members, levels of management and work force. All employees must have some responsibility and involvement in the program.
- Implement an efficient communication system, allowing quick contact to top management. A review of the program’s results will help identify areas that need modification.
Completing these four fundamentals will establish a comprehensive foundation that will support other fundamental elements of loss control program. Keep in mind that all elements of the program cannot be carried out at once. Building a successful program takes time and planning. The success of one phase will often lead to the initiation of the next logical phase.
Recommended loss control program elements:
- Proper selection and personnel placement—Ensure the most qualified person is assigned.
- Establishing safety rules and procedures—Implement guidelines that employees are expected to follow. General and specific rules should be developed.
- Accident reporting, investigating and analyzing—Make provisions to ensure all accidents and injuries are reported immediately. Prompt investigation to uncover the real causes will allow for analysis and corrective action.
- Training—Develop a program to provide initial and continuous training for all employees, including supervisory personnel.
- Inspections—Establish procedures to check regularly for unsafe conditions and unsafe acts within the facility. These inspections will supplement those done by outside agencies.
- Emergency procedures—Implement procedures to follow, including first-aid treatment and handling serious injuries, fires or other disasters.
- Motivation—Keep employees interested and continually involved in loss control efforts. This can include a safety committee, posters, handouts, incentive programs, etc.
A loss control program, once designed and implemented, should be evaluated periodically to ensure its effectiveness. New techniques must be adopted to keep the program alive, growing and effective.