Writing an Employee Safety Handbook? Here’s How to Get Started
One of the most effective ways to bring your business insurance costs down is to write an employee safety handbook, and to supply your insurer with a copy so that they know that you’re doing everything on the up-and-up.
But where do you get started?
Most of us have no idea. We got into our industry of choice because we had a knack for the restaurant game, or we had a great idea for a new piece of software, or we know how to sell a used car. If we knew how to write a safety handbook, we’d be safety professionals, right?
Start With OSHA
You can start by checking out the OSHA website and seeing what regulations and guidelines apply to your industry. Many employers will use a separate employee handbook and OSHA handbook, but it’s a good idea to use the OSHA guidelines as a starting point.
Read Some Examples
Check online for some examples of employee safety handbooks in your industry. These will give you a good idea of what these books should cover, how they should be written and how they should be structured.
Write an Outline
Here’s the truth about writing: Once you have a strong outline in place, the actual writing is easy. The hard part is figuring out what you need to include, and what order to put it in.
Talk with an Attorney
Once you have an outline, show it to an attorney who specializes in workplace safety and see what they have to say about it. If there’s something crucial that you’re missing, they’ll let you know.
Once you’ve shown your outline to an attorney, it’s up to you where to go next. Hire a writer or write it yourself, it’s your call. But these steps are critical. You want to get your handbook up to OSHA standards, up to industry standards, and up to legal standards, and you want it to be clear, well-organized and easy to read. If you have all of that sorted, you really can’t go wrong.
Once you have a draft of the book ready, you’ll want to go over it with your team once more before you call your printer. Then just make sure that all your employees, and your insurance agent, have a copy, and you’re good to go.