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Course 833 - Developing a Construction Safety Management System

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

3D Process: Design

To help gain the support and a real commitment from managers, they must have a good idea what the CSMS will look like. To do that, it's important not to wait to begin the process of designing the structure of an effective CSMS. We think the following process to design, develop, and deploy the CSMS can be very effective and we'll be discussing the three phases throughout the rest of the course.

Develop, Deploy, Design Image


The purpose of this first phase is to paint the "big picture" that helps guide everyone in developing and deploying the elements of the CSMS.During this first phase in the process, gather a team of managers, supervisors, and employees who volunteer to discuss and draft the following five components within the CSMS:

  1. mission and vision statements
  2. safety goals, objectives and performance measures
  3. safety positions, duties and responsibilities of line and staff
  4. programs to include in the CSMS
  5. strategic safety plan

From the very start it's important to have the vision to understand who you are and a sense of mission about what you do as a corporate entity, and to do that, you'll need to create a vision and mission statement. So let's take a look at these two concepts.

It’s important to develop a vision statement that tells everyone (people within and outside of the company) <u>who the company is</u>.
It’s important to develop a vision statement that tells everyone who the company is.

Vision and Mission Statements

To help establish a sound foundation for the CSMS, it's important that we have the vision necessary to create a strong sense of mission. A very important principle that everyone should understand at all levels of the company is that...

"we do what we do because of who we think we are."

If we believe our company is the best, we will act like it is the best. If we think the company values safety, we will act in ways that reflect that belief.

With that in mind, it's important to develop a vision statement that tells everyone in the company who the company is.

Take a look at a few sample vision statements below:

Sample Vision Statements

  • XYZ Construction values its "relationship with customers" above all. To be successful we treat all employees as valued internal customers. We respect their ideas, value their work, and provide whatever is needed so that they may accomplish excellence in a safe-productive manner. Doing this empowers our employees so that they may manifest our values daily with our external customers.
  • At XYZ, safety is a line responsibility, not a staff responsibility. It's equal to all other considerations of production, costs, and quality.

The mission statement, on the other hand, is action-oriented, telling the world what the company does and why it exists, by stating its intended purpose. The mission statement lets everyone know what the company's product or service is; who its customers are; what its service territory is.

Let's take a look at some examples:

Sample Mission Statements

  • It is the mission of XYZ Construction to safely manufacture and deliver the highest quality megalithic cyberwidgets to our valued customers throughout the world.
  • The XYZ Safety Committee's mission is to help management keep the worksite as safe and healthful as possible by providing quality feedback and effective solutions to safety issues.

Goals and Objectives

Now that your company has a vision and mission statements that support the CSMS. The next step is to develop some broad goals and specific operational objectives that support the vision and mission, and therefore, the CSMS.


Goals are easy to write. That's because they're nothing more than mere wishes. For instance, a safety goal might be to:

  • get everyone trained
  • lower injury rates
  • recognize everyone who exceeds expectations

SMART Operational Objectives

On the other hand, objectives are structured statements that provide much more detail. Objectives should structured so that they're SMART: Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Relevant, and Timely.

Action-oriented objectives are also called operational objectives because they describe specific job-related actions that can be measured. The results should be achievable and relevant, or important, to the company. And finally, the objective should set a time limit.

How to Write an Operational Objective

However, operational objectives take a little more thought.

Objectives should have the following elements present:

  • Starts with an action verb. (Decrease, increase, improve, etc.)
  • Specifies a single key result to be accomplished.
  • Is quantifiable. Uses numbers to measure a desired change. (i.e., 50% increase)
  • Specifies a target date for accomplishment.

For example, operational safety objectives might be written like this:

  • "Increase the number of safety suggestions to 25 a month by July 31st."
  • "Reduce the number of back injuries in the warehouse by 70% by the end of 1997."

Roles and Responsibilities

Now that you have developed some broad goals and objectives for your CSMS, the next step is to think about and draft general management-level roles and responsibilities that will be assigned to your managers, site superintendents, foremen and supervisors.

A person’s role and associated responsibilities have the same kind of relationship as the company’s vision and mission statement. Remember, the vision statement tells everyone who we are, and the mission statement let’s everyone know what we do.

The Roles We Play

A person’s "role" may be thought of as the part (or assigned position) played by a person in a particular business environment. The person’s behavior and actions at work is influenced by his own, and other employees’ expectations of what are appropriate for the role being played.

Some examples of business roles are:

  • Manager
  • Supervisor
  • Safety Director
  • OSHA Inspector
  • Safety Committee Member

We think you can see that each of these "roles" has a certain set of expectations tied to them. And, since every company’s corporate culture varies, expectations for these same roles might be quite different.

For instance, in one company, the safety director might perform the role of a "cop" enforcing safety with an iron fist, while in another company; he or she might more appropriately be expected to perform the role of "consultant," helping line managers with their safety responsibilities.

Roles and Responsibilities (continued...)

With Roles Come Responsibilities

Management safety responsibilities are assigned to line and staff positions within the company. Responsibilities include organizing, coordinating, and administering programs as appropriate.

Here are some examples of typical management and supervisor safety responsibilities:

  • Conduct or supervise Job Safety Analyses
  • Assure compliance with OSHA construction safety standard requirements.
  • Conduct regular job site safety inspections.
  • Establish corporate safety procedures.
  • Coordinate regular Safety training.
  • Conduct or assist with Tool Box Talks or Five Minute Safety Talks.
  • Document training, inspections, injuries and illnesses, and other safety records.
  • Participate in accident investigations and implementation of corrective actions.
  • Involve employees in the implementation of the CSMS.
  • Create statistical reports that compare severity and frequency rates against prior records.

Identify Safety Programs

Finally, in the design phase you'll need to determine which specific safety programs will be a part of the CSMS. Every CSMS is composed of various programs that are actually quite similar in structure to the corporate SMS but they have a very narrow focus and are determined primarily by the type of construction performed by the company. Each program can also be created using the 3D process.

Below are just a few of the programs usually included in the CSMS:

  • Safety Training Program
  • Safety Suggestion/Recognition Program
  • Industrial Hygiene Program
  • Hazard Communication Program
  • Confined Space Safety Program
  • Industrial Truck Safety Program
  • Construction Safety Committee Program
  • Electrical Safety Program
  • Asbestos Safety Program

We’ll discuss more about plans, policies, programs, processes, procedures and practices (the 6-P’s) in upcoming modules.



Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. The purpose of the design phase in the implementation of the CSMS is to _____ that helps guide everyone in development and deployment phases.

2. The vision statement tells everyone _____.

3. SMART objectives have all of the following characteristics EXCEPT _____.

4. During which phase in the implementation process, would you gather a team of managers, supervisors, and employees to discuss CSMS roles and responsibilities of line and staff?

5. How we fulfill the role we play at work depends on _____.

Have a safe day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.