EHS ​Professional Resources


Is Your Safety Program Under   RAPP’sTM                                                                         (2014 LECTURE NOTES)
By John W. Wells Jr., MS, CSP, CMIOSH 

In the last 25 years what have we learned? Simple! That there are three glaring aspect of any safety program that must be dissected, defined, and disseminated throughout an organization for any level of success to be attained. Those aspects are Responsibility, Accountability & Proactive Participation (RAPP), each of these aspects being equal in weight and value. The absence of any one can and will hinder an organizations ability to proliferate a sustainable safety culture. The following article can serve as a simple guide outlining the basic elements needed when organizations focus on creating a progressive safety culture.

Responsibility based on an “Excellence Driven Philosophy”  

          · “We are here to produce our products as safe as possible and you can make a difference!” 

          · Responsibility is shared - safety is 24/7.

          · It is not that “Safety is #1”, a tired and transparent slogan, rather “Our Employees are #1” which is our key to sustainability.

    “The level of management support, employee participation, and accountability will determine the success of any program”.

The 24/7 Culture: Successful companies have realized that safety doesn’t stop at the gate.

          · “Everyone is responsible” and “the actions of one can affect the company as a whole”.

          ·  No matter at what level in the organization, senior management has to be tasked with establishing clear expectations, fair  

                  and consistent policy, and sound programs that meet or exceed regulatory compliance. 

          ·  Paramount is management's responsibility to clearly define the rules.

          ·  Accountability and discipline are not the same; they should be addressed separately. 

          ·  A culture based on accountability will foster employee interaction, allowing them to recognize their mistakes without 



               “Accountable Safety” must be a core value, not just an initiative. Every opportunity to talk about safety must be taken.

Proactive Participation

Participation has to be a "Buy In". Mandating a program does nothing more than create an inconvenience in the mind of the

       employee, but a program that is driven by the employees will gain overwhelming acceptance.

​       Near miss programs when constructed correctly become much more than the perceived task of “self reporting”. 

Near miss programs: 

               ·  Are used as “preventable measure"

               ·  Are an inspection tool for supervision

               ·  Are a vehicle for employee/team participation/ownership 

               ·  Are a source for continuous improvement     



     Safety cultures can be difficult to measure. When implemented correctly understanding a company’s safety culture will be key in

     developing​ different insights on where and how to improve the safety management processes.How a company implements

     those processes, will ultimately ​affect the level of attainable success.

​     So what is the secret to success? – A measured, monitored, and integrated safety management system is crucial to an

     organizations ability to achieve world class performance! Leadership, commitment, and employee involvement are key

     components of a sustainable - progressive safety culture…So – Is your safety program really under RAPP’s?

​John W. Wells Jr., MS, CSP, CMIOSH is a Murray State University, and Union University, Jackson TN. graduate with 25+ years of safety, health and environmental experience. He has managed global programs in the manufacturing, petroleum, and chemical industries having experience with OSHA's VPP, BST®, Dow's Safe Work Styles©, DuPont's STOP™, along with numerous incentive programs. As a speaker, author, and certified safety professional, he continues to evolve his global philosophies assisting companies in attaining their safety goals.