Learn Health & Safety
What Is a Health and Safety Objective?
Health and safety objectives are useful to create a health and safety program that aims at reducing harm to your employees. In turn, this is then will help to reduce the number of injuries and illnesses within your workplace.
Your organisation may find it appropriate to have more than one objective, depending on the health and safety environment of the workplace. These objectives should be written with the aim of meeting the organisations health and safety policy.
Using the SMART methodology
Your health and safety objectives should follow the SMART guideline:
Specific – clear and direct – for example, your organisation will undertake joint hazard identification and assessment of risks with employee representatives in all departments every three months.
Measurable – it should be easy to confirm whether the objective has been achieved. In the above example – is there a record of three-monthly hazard identification ‘walk-arounds’ and meetings?
Achievable – objectives that can be met within the timeframe available. Targets such as ‘we will reduce our work injuries by 50% within six months may not be achievable if most people don’t understand the basics of hazard identification and risk assessment.
Realistic – this is tied in closely with whether something is achievable. For example, an objective to ‘become a leader in workplace health and safety management in New Zealand’ may be commendable but would be almost impossible to measure. Employees may become discouraged when targets are perceived as unrealistic. Objectives should also be relevant to the type and size of the business and build on recent health and safety performance.
Time-bound – objectives should be specific and realistic enough to be able to be achieved within a defined timeframe (usually twelve months or less). If you have multi-year targets, it may be a good idea to break these down into smaller annual or monthly targets so that progress can be tracked and acknowledged.
Some examples of health and safety objectives can be seen below:
- Increase the visibility of the business health and safety expectations across all stakeholders, including suppliers and customers
- Ensure all employees are aware of the Health and Safety procedures
Health and Safety Tools & Resources
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