Review Your Safety Plan

The beginning of a new year is a great time to refresh your focus on safety. Take this time to brush off your safety plan and get your head back in the game. Triggers are useful ways to initiate good practices. We use triggers for many safety related tasks; one good example is the replacement of batteries in smoke detectors when we change the clocks each year. As you take this opportunity to initiate a focus on safety, here is a list of items that you can use to stir discussion with your team on this topic.

THE NEW YEAR SAFETY CHECKLIST

Your organization should make a habit of periodically reviewing your overall safety program within the organization. This activity could be far reaching and include everyone from the CEO to each individual employee. Safety begins with each of us as we all have an important role to play. Today, we will focus on some key thought stimulating topics you can use as a starting point. These items are just the beginning for your safety journey. Every organization and their circumstances will be unique and the results of the dialog that will occur this year should be documented and recorded for years to come.

Let us now review some high-level,thought provoking drivers meant to spur discussion within your teams. This list should prompt you and your team to dig deeper in one or more meetings.

ANNUAL PERFORMANCE REVIEW

This is your report card that shows how well your plan worked last year. Reviewing this data as a team should help identify concerns and issues that need to be addressed. Take this time to possibly set goals and consider the IEC-CNA Safety Committee Safety Award Program as a goal for your organization. Key statistics like total hours worked, number of injuries, number of cases with days away from work, and other recordable data points are just a few that should be collected over time. Some organizations elect to record “near misses” as a way to identify areas where improvements can be made.

A good start is to reference OSHA form 300, “OSHA Forms for RecordingWork-Related Injuries and Illnesses,” a free download from OSHA’s website at www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/RKforms. html. This document provides guidance on what data to track and includes:

  • Total number of deaths
  • Total number of cases with days away from work
  • Total number of cases with job transfer or restriction
  • Total number of other recordable cases
  • Total number of days away from work
  • Total number of days of job transfer or restriction
  • Total number of injuries, skin disorders, respiratory conditions, poisonings, hearing loss, or all other illnesses

This document provides a lot more guidance and is a key input to theIEC-CNA Safety Award Program.

Don’t let the tasks of statistics and recorded incidents push you into the role of being a manager of safety and not a leader of safety. As leaders, we need to get beyond the numbers and work closely on job sites to help our teams understand how to identify areas of concern or improvement. Many organizations may be faced with a record of no accidents, no time off, no deaths, and more. This does not mean there is no room for improvement. Bad habits that lead to the bad statistics can be spotted ahead of time.

Your safety performance data relies on everyone. If events are not reported, or are reported incorrectly and inaccurately, your safety performance reports will not be accurate or complete. If all employees are completing the forms and submitting corrective action reports correctly and accurately and upper management doesn’t act on the data, the safety machine breaks down yet again. Safety performance reviews should drive action, and your budgets must be supportive. Your data should help you budget accordingly.

EQUIPMENT CHECK

Target equipment includes a range from the big