1. By investing in safety and health, nonprofits can protect their most valuable asset – people.
  2. Starting with a clear understanding of the words safety, health, and risk allows people to come together around a common understanding of what needs to be done.
  3. Nonprofit workers make decisions about risk on a regular basis. Although some decisions should involve the board, all workers should have the information and support needed to be risk-aware each and every day.
  4. There are seven layers of individuals or institutions involved in safety and health: board, leadership, staff, volunteers, people you serve, L&I, and OSHA.


As you get ready to plan for safety and health, think about the following questions. 

  • What do the words – safety, health, and risk – mean within the context of your nonprofit?
  • Who is involved in safety and health efforts in your organization?
  • Why is safety and health important to your organization? What are all the areas of risk faced by your organization – staff, volunteers, people you serve, etc.?
A person reading a book with a lightbulb over their head, like they have an idea.


  • Nonprofit Risk Management Center resource library.
  • On the L&I website, scan through the safety and health topics list.  Select three to five topics that relate directly to your nonprofit’s work and review the available materials. If needed, use your completed Safety & Health Checklist to identify topics of concern.
  • Check out the following books:
    • World-Class Risk Management for Nonprofits, by Norman Marks & Melanie Lockwood Herman
    • Safety Culture: An Innovative Leadership Approach, by James Roughton & Nathan Crutchfield
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