Safely Working From the Ground Up

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About the author:
David Shafer is a uniquely qualified, highly motivated environmental, health, and safety professional who applies his expertise to employee training and education. His many years as a consultant, government contractor, college educator and employer have produced a balanced perspective and effectiveness grounded in reality and practical thinking.

Dave has a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Science from Drexel University and a B.A. in Biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He holds the following certifications: CSP, CSHM, SMS, CHMM, CET. Currently, he is teaching in the Department of Safety Management at Slippery Rock University.

Safely Working From the Ground Up

Turning Safety Upside Down

Authored by David Shafer
Edition: 1

"Safely Working From the Ground Up" was written for employers trying to figure out where to start when implementing workplace safety. The guidance provided does not require hiring or retaining a Safety Professional. It is based on concepts developed by "The Safely Working Project " including Safely Working, Safe 6, and Sensible Care.

"Safely Working From the Ground Up" PREFACE

Chances are, if you have training as a safety professional you aren't reading this book - although I know there is simple guidance and valuable information that can be used in any organization. More likely, you are not a trained safety professional and have no formal safety training, but have found yourself responsible for safety in your organization.

If that's the case, congratulations! I mean it. I have every confidence that you can do a terrific job building a Safely Working Environment within your organization. More than likely your organization may not be big enough to afford a trained safety professional. That doesn't mean your employees are out of luck. You can have a workplace as safe as any Fortune 500 company with a large safety department, maybe safer.

The reality is that safety and what I refer to as Safely Working is not dependent on a safety professional. It relies on all employees, especially supervisors and management. One of the most important things you need to remember is that no one comes to work to get hurt. Build on that understanding as you create a Safely Working Environment.

Yet, you still need guidance that is easy to find and easy to use. That's why I developed the Safely Working System and wrote this book. Yes, there are lots of great books available including those from the National Safety Council and other recognized sources. You may want some of them for your resource library. However, you'll be hard pressed to find a guide to getting started with safety in the workplace. Even doesn't have a "Start Here" link on its home page.

That's what this book is all about-it's a place to get started. I hope you outgrow the book quickly. The Safely Working System is a beginning framework that gets you headed in the right direction. It contains valuable tools and guidance that will serve your effort initially and will streamline your efforts as well as guide the maturation and success of your organization's safety effort.

It's not rocket science. But, it's not all common sense either. It's what I call "Sensible Care," and everyone can learn to use it. I also believe that it is an important ingredient in making "Safely Working" the dominant value in your organization. Look at it this way - do you want employees to come to work at safety or do you expect employees to be on the job Safely Working?


I entered the safety field through a side door, so to speak. I didn't get a degree in safety and frankly, none of my coursework was about safety directly. In fact, I learned more about safety through jobs - during crew safety meetings and by the seat of my pants as a result of more than a couple "uh-oh moments." Ultimately, I was drawn into a position that required me to become a safety and health expert.

Given the time, I was able to pour through books and references to find the guidance I needed. But there was not one book that did it all. That was many years ago. Would I be better off today? Well, there are hundreds of books readily available that offer plenty of information. Which are the most useful depends on who you are and where you are in the realm of safety responsibility.

Thanks for giving me a chance to influence your hard work. I trust that you will find this book useful.

Dave Shafer
The Safely Working Project
Fall 2016

Publication Date:
0692790624 / 9780692790625
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
5.5" x 8.5"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Non-Classifiable / Non-Classifiable

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