#12 Codes of Safe Practices

Codes of safe practices have traditionally been used by the construction trades to clearly establish safe work rules for a particular trade. In fact, the adoption of a code of safe practices is required by any employer subject to the Construction Safety Orders as part of its injury prevention program (Construction Safety Orders 1509(b)). This standard further requires the code of safe practices to be conspicuously posted and be available to supervisors and employees. Codes of Safe Practices are the most practical means of documenting and communicating injury and illness prevention measures applicable to a particular workplace situation. They offer the following practical advantages:

 

  1. Safe workplace conditions, work practices and required protective equipment can be described in an easy-to-understand format.

 

  1. Codes of safe practices are useful as a training tool for newly assigned employees and for refresher training for current employees.

 

  1. Codes of safe practices can be posted conveniently and are recognized as the rules for a particular job or task.

 

  1. Codes of safe practices are designed to be enforceable with appropriate disciplinary procedures if they are not followed. The documented enforcement of written safety standards is a mandated requirement of OSHA compliance, an incumbent responsibility for all employers.

 

Codes of safe practices are a fundamental building block of the Illness and Injury Prevention Program. They provide a basis for continued systematic safe behavior and a convenient checkpoint for safety inspections, which are required periodically.