Montana Safety Culture Act

posted in: Plan 0
Montana passed a Montana Safety Culture Act in 1993 that places requirements on companies to take care of their employees and keep them safe. Luckily, for the smallest companies, it is pretty much what a conscientious employer would mostly be doing anyway (well, except for the documentation), if only to keep Workers Comp rates low. The Act has six requirements and offers recommendations on how to meet those requirements. Companies with more than five employees (which usually does not count the owners) have a little more paperwork to do.



Every employer shall establish, implement and maintain an educational based training program that shall at a minimum:

1. Provide all new employees with a general safety orientation containing information common to all employees and appropriate to the business’s operations before they begin their regular job duties.

The orientation is recommended to contain both oral and written instruction and include, but not be limited to, information on:

  • • Accident and hazard reporting procedures
  • • Emergency procedures
  • • Fire safety
  • • First aid
  • • Personal protective equipment
  • • Work site hazards

2. Provide job-specific or task-specific safety training appropriate for employees before they perform that job or task without direct supervision.

The training is recommended to:

  • •Include specific safety rules, procedures and hazards
  • •Identify the employer’s and employee’s responsibilities regarding safety in the workplace
  • •Be conducted by personnel knowledgeable of the task being trained
  • •Be conducted when the safety program is established, job assignments change, new substances are introduced to the workplace and when a new hazard is identified

3. Offer continuing, regular, refresher safety training.

The training is recommended to:

  • • Be held on an annual basis at a minimum and when necessary throughout the rest of the year
  • • Contain material to maintain and expand knowledge and awareness of safety issues in the workplace

4. Develop awareness and appreciation of safety through tools such as newsletters, periodic safety meetings, posters and safety incentive programs.

5. Provide periodic self-inspection for hazard assessment when the safety program is implemented, new work sites are established and thereafter as is appropriate to business operations—but at least annually—that:

  • • Identifies hazards and unsafe work practices or conditions
  • • Identifies corrective action(s) needed
  • • Documents corrective action(s) taken

6. Include documentation of performance of activities listed in 1-5 (above). This documentation must be kept by the employer for three years.

Recommended documentation includes:

  • • Date, time, location, name of trainer and description of training, inspections and corrective actions
  • • List of participants



1. Implement and maintain policies and procedures that assign specific safety responsibilities and safety performance accountability.

The policies and procedures are recommended to:

  • • Include a statement of top management commitment to the safety program
  • • Encourage and motivate employee involvement in the program
  • • Define safety responsibilities for managers, personnel, supervisors and employees
  • • Be reflected in job descriptions and performance evaluations
  • • Be communicated and accessible to all employees

2. Implement and maintain procedures for reporting, investigating and taking corrective action on all work-related incidents, injuries, illnesses, fatalities and known unsafe work conditions or practices.

Procedures are recommended to be non-punitive and include but not be limited to:

  • • Provisions for timely and effective reporting
  • • Recommendations and follow-up corrective action
  • • Documentation
  • • Signature requirements for reports, investigations and corrective actions
  • • Periodic evaluation of the procedures’ effectiveness

3. Shall have a safety committee in place that complies with the requirements listed in this brochure under the title Safety Committee Requirements.

Safety Committee Waiver

A company may qualify to waive the requirement of the safety committee. A waiver may be granted if you have evidence of the following:

  • • A written safety plan that complies with the provisions of the MSCA
  • • Documentary evidence of employee participation in the safety program
  • • A three-year average lost-workday incidence rate that is not greater than 55 percent of the current average incidence rate for Montana entities with the same North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code; OR
  • • A satisfactory experience modification factor, not greater than 0.87 (if the employer has an experience modification factor established).
See the Act for more details on the requirements and the waiver.