Q&A on Virtual Safety Manager

By IBT Inc

August 07, 2009

Safety

What is Virtual Safety Manager (VSM)?
VSM is a web-based tool for managing your safety and health programs. With VSM, you can create site specific programs and policies, employee safety handbooks, conduct employee training, document compliance efforts and track all safety and health related activities. It schedules compliance activities, sends reminders and then documents everything completed.

It can be used for a single location or multiple locations. When used in multiple locations, all programs become uniform and consistent across the entire organization.

What can I actually do with VSM?

You can:

  • Manage your safety program
  • Create site specific safety policies and procedures
  • Create site specific employee safety handbooks
  • Train employees individually or in groups
  • Track training performance
  • Document all aspects of the safety and health program
  • Manage MSDS information

What is the best reason for signing up for VSM?
VSM will provide OSHA-compliant policies for a company of any size, and will be able to do so even if the organization does not have a full-time, fully- qualified safety professional on staff.

Those companies that do have safety staff will be able to do more, more easily, because of the materials and information that are built into VSM.

VSM includes training classes and tests; hazard assessments; employee safety manuals and personnel information for proper recordkeeping. The program also interconnects with many outside information resources, including MSDS files.

How can a company most effectively use VSM?

VSM will make it easier for an organization to maintain an effective safety program, including recordkeeping, training, policies and procedures,

What type of company is VSM most effective for?

VSM will work for all sizes of companies. Smaller enterprises (fewer than 150 employees at a site) that have a variety of safety issues will especially benefit from the breadth and depth of information and material contained within VSM.

It is difficult for a company with general safety concerns, spread over a variety of hazards, to have concentrated knowledge on staff. But, an experienced safety generalist who uses VSM should be able to maintain both safe operations and OSHA compliance in a cost-efficient fashion.

Who at a company should use VSM?

The designated safety officer, if there is one. Or, a plant or operations manager or personnel specialist will be able to administer the program.

VSM is designed to be easy to use and quickly learned. VSM also is easily installed (both technically and in terms of information entry) for a client company.

Does VSM include employee safety training programs?

If formal training is required by an OSHA standard, it is included in VSM. The programs can be used for online learning or presented by a moderator in a group setting. Following each training session, there is an exercise (quiz) to assess knowledge retention. Employee performance is documented and retained for training verification and future reference.

Additional training programs to support good manufacturing practices and in general, enhance the safety and health program are also available. A short quiz follows each of these learning sessions as well.

Do I have to be a safety expert to use VSM?

No. VSM is designed to be used by both safety professionals, whose full time job is managing a safety and health program, and by those who have additional responsibilities beyond safety and health.

It is a great tool for those who manage a safety program in addition to other responsibilities. Compliance schedules, training programs, and individual employee training curricula are identified when the initial input of company or employee information. Monthly queries guide you to ensure that your programs stay current and on target. In addition, VSM’s support staff routinely monitors OSHA activities to keep you abreast of any regulatory changes. Every time you log on to VSM, you are accessing compliance expertise.

How will I know if my programs are current with OSHA regulations?

VSM’s staff of safety and health professionals routinely monitor OSHA’s website for new standards or updates of existing standards. VSM is designed so universal changes reflecting current OSHA information can be made to all existing programs. You will be notified via e-mail of any changes that require updates to your programs.

Can I manage multiple locations from VSM?

Yes. VSM was specifically designed for managing multiple facilities. Security levels are set so that corporate headquarters has access to all company information but individual locations only access information pertaining to that specific location.

I am a safety professional, what can VSM do for me?

VSM is an excellent support tool for safety and health professionals. It provides the core requirements of safety program and health programs, documents all safety and health related activities, calendars compliance events, monitors training requirements/needs, and tracks employee performance.

My safety program is already in place and in pretty good shape. Why would I need VSM?

You can build on what already exists. Some adjustments will be needed in order to establish a data base for utilizing the management tools, establishing employee training curricula and tracking employee training performance. Much of what you have can be retained and improved by the tools in VSM.

The IBT Virtual Safety Manager (VSM) is offered on a very reasonably priced paid subscription basis.

To learn more about how the VSM works – how little it will cost your organization – and all the ways it can save you money while increasing the health and safety of your operations, check out www.virtualsafetymanager.com or email Tom Smith.

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