Institutional Commitment

Institutional commitment can be demonstrated by policies that set safety goals. Goal-setting has an important role in promoting safe operation and behavior.

Institutional policies should establish management's expectations for safe behavior. But even when policies are in place, if they are not properly implemented or supported by the required budget (for facility improvements, personal protective gear, training, etc), a "safety culture" does not really exist.

Institutions should provide employees with a comprehensive library of guidelines, codes, standards, and other hydrogen-related reference material.

Institutional commitment should encourage and promote the reporting of near misses, as well as incidents. When safety incidents do occur, root-cause analyses often identify ineffective policies or lack of management support related to safe work habits and behavior as the underlying causes.

Institutional goal-setting should provide a means to measure safety improvements. This can be done by monitoring (over time) the number of safety-related incidents and their severity through metrics such as lost work days. For example, safety goals should include:

  • Reducing the number of injuries and illnesses by identifying and controlling workplace hazards
  • Prompt and complete reporting of safety non-compliances
  • Prompt correction of safety issues in a manner that precludes recurrence
  • Providing adequate resources (staff and budget) to achieve safety goals
  • Striving to achieve recognition through established programs such as OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) star designation.

The VPP promotes effective worksite safety and health. Management, labor, and OSHA establish cooperative relationships at workplaces that have implemented a comprehensive safety and health management system. Approval into VPP is OSHA's official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health.

A number of formalized management frameworks have been developed which hold management accountable for safety, for example: