A Simple Question Deserves a Simple Answer……

IMG_20150903_183104“What is Safe 6?”

That’s a simple question I’ve been asked many times over the past 12 months.  It really deserves a simple answer.  In my mind, it is simple. (I know what you are thinking – please keep it to yourself.)  I understand it but, it always seems to take too long to describe Safe 6.  Here are some of the pat answers I’ve given in response to that simple question:

  • Safe 6 is the core concept that drives The Safely Working Project
  • Safe 6 is based on an approach easy to understand and simply applied by employees and supervisors
  • Safe 6 is organized around six simple actions: Recognize, Prepare, Inspect, Control, Operate, Guard
  • Safe 6 is used to develop workplace and task specific Safely Working™ Skills, not generic safe work practices
  • Safe 6 can be used as a mentoring guide and to support corrective conversations
  • Safe 6 can be used as a meeting agenda or as training objectives
  • The Safe 6 format provides for practical and effective employee training by supervisors
  • Safe 6 is the key to a Safely Working™ Environment.

Not one of those statements represents a simple answer to the question.  There’s the challenge.   It’s all important information but, if it takes such a detailed explanation I am not going to succeed at persuading anyone to give Safe 6 a try.

Maybe there is no simple answer since Safe 6 is such a versatile tool for workplace safety.  While developing the Safe 6 concept, The Safely Working Project has been doing its best to make sure that what it develops is not just useful, but compatible with existing workplace safety systems.  However, we’ve not discussed it much.

Here’s a practical representation of where Safe 6 does fit.  Click on the table below.  In the left column is a list of elements in a sound EHS management system loosely based on the OSHA Safety and Health Program Management Guidelinessws.  I added the Quality Management element because of the importance of safety in maintaining quality.

As you can see, each action in Safe 6 is related to a major element of safety management.  This is not a surprise but, it is significant.  It is why we recently announced our new focus on the Safely Working™ System.  We’ve never suggested we are applying rocket science.  We’ve always said we are promoting simple, sensible guidance that can be used regardless of whether or not you have a safety professional or safety staff.  Safe 6 is that kind of a tool.

Now, when I am asked “What is Safe 6?” …… I provide a simple answer:

“Safe 6 is a Personal EHS Management System.”

 

©2015 The Safely Working Project & P.D. Shafer III

“Safe 6” is a registered trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.
“Safely Working” is a trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.

∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼

While we believe what The Safely Working Project is promoting is useful to all employers and safety professionals, our efforts are directed at those small businesses that can’t afford or don’t have a safety professional to facilitate workplace safety.

The Safely Working Project envisions a path to workplace safety that is driven by employees and supervisors.  This is fundamentally different from the traditional Safety Program where an EHS Professional manages workplace safety.  So, instead of top down safety, Safely Working™ endeavors to succeed from the ground up. “We’re turning safety upside down.”

Task Rundown: Information……

descriptionInformation

Describe the task fully.  Is it part of a larger activity?  Has a Job Safety Analysis/Job Health Analysis been prepared?  Has a Danger Check been completed?  Which activities (MOTELS) does it involve?  Are there any restrictions on who is authorized to carry out the task?  Identify all relevant information including SDSs.

The Task Rundown is a tool that is used to gather and assemble knowledge in one place about a specific task.  It is helpful for supervisors and those responsible for developing Safe 6 Briefs and training.  The Rundown is made up of 6 elements:

  • Information – Who, What, When, Where, Why, How
  • Cause – What leads to mishaps
  • Effects – What can happen as a result of a mishap
  • Rules – Guidance that must be followed
  • Training – What training is required for employees
  • Protection – Describe the needed control measures and PPE

©2015 The Safely Working Project & P.D. Shafer III

“Safe 6” is a registered trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.
“Safely Working” is a trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.

∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼

The Safely Working Project is focused wholly on employees and their health and well-being in the workplace.  The Project promotes useful guidance that does not depend on a safety professional or staff to facilitate in the workplace.

The Safely Working Project envisions a path to workplace safety that is driven by employees and supervisors.  This is fundamentally different from the traditional Safety Program where an EHS Professional manages workplace safety.  So, instead of top down safety, Safely Working™ endeavors to succeed from the ground up. “We’re turning safety upside down.”

Just a Simple Challenge……

Name one thing, be specific, about your organization’s safety program that positively impacts all aspects of your program AND can be independently identified and described by any one of your employees.

Why the challengeNew York Harbor?  Because, chances are you can’t provide a simple response to the question or it may take a while.  Sure you may be able to describe what’s good about your program in general.  Or, you may be able to name one thing, but your employees have no awareness of it.  What this illustrates is that safety programs are usually pretty involved and complex.  They are made up of many elements: policies, specific programs, plans, procedures, and practices.  Many elements stand alone and have little relation to another.

I did quick Internet search for responses to “complexity breeds.”  Here’s what was returned:

Complexity breeds complexity
Complexity breeds quality challenges
Complexity breeds mistakes
Complexity breeds risk
Complexity breeds inefficiency
Complexity breeds ignorance

Interestingly enough it appeared the majority of the results were related to IT and data management systems.  However, I find that the challenges of IT and the means successful organizations use to address those issues are applicable to most business challenges. (See Tivix.com/blog)  I’m confident you would acknowledge that your program has been challenged by one or more of the above results.

But, those solutions can be complex in and of themselves.  We need something else to tame complexity.  Of course we are not suggesting that a safety program be defined in a matter of pages.  There are many important parts of a program that cannot be abridged or digested.  But that doesn’t mean there cannot be a common thread drawn through every piece of the program.

Think of it as the thread that is used to tailor a garment to fit a specific customer.  A safety program, to be effective must be developed from a pattern designed to fit your particular workplace.   Once the pattern is designed it is cut out and assembled, but strong thread is needed to hold it together, not just on the rack (or shelf), but when it’s worn (or implemented).  If that thread is not strong, the pieces will begin to separate and gaps will result.  Those gaps will decrease the effectiveness of the program.  A poorly made raincoat will do a poor job protecting from rain.

So what is this one thing that serves as the common thread that can hold your program together giving it strength and resilience?

Safe 6®

In the coming weeks we will revisit Safe 6® and how it can be used to sew your program together in an effort to tame complexity and what it can do to safety.

 

©2015 The Safely Working Project & P.D. Shafer III

“Safe 6” is a registered trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.
“Safely Working” is a trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.

∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼

While we believe what The Safely Working Project is promoting is useful to all employers and safety professionals, our efforts are directed at those small businesses that can’t afford or don’t have a safety professional to facilitate workplace safety.

The Safely Working Project envisions a path to workplace safety that is driven by employees and supervisors.  This is fundamentally different from the traditional Safety Program where an EHS Professional manages workplace safety.  So, instead of top down safety, Safely Working™ endeavors to succeed from the ground up. “We’re turning safety upside down.”

MOTELS – Substances……

substances

Are you working with or around hazardous chemicals or harmful biological substances? Do you know and understand the hazards and how to effectively protect yourself?

Biological; Compressed Gases; Corrosives; Cryogens; Explosives; Flammables; Oxidizers; Toxic; Unstable

 

 

MOTELS….. Safe 6……. No connection with the “keep the lights on” folks.  Our MOTELS is an acronym, not a hotel chain.  Each letter represents a category of potentially dangerous activities or conditions.  By now you can recite the Safe 6 and know that the first step is “Recognize all the Dangers.”  Everything associated with the rest of Safe 6 relies on an understanding of those dangers.

See MOTELS

©2015 The Safely Working Project & P.D. Shafer III

“Safe 6” is a registered trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.
“Safely Working” is a trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.

∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼

While we believe what The Safely Working Project is promoting is useful to all employers and safety professionals, our efforts are directed at those small businesses that can’t afford or don’t have a safety professional to facilitate workplace safety.

Where are you working? What are the working conditions such as lighting and temperature? Are you working above floor level or near water?   Is the workspace free of debris, obstructions or other activities that could interfere? Do you have solid footing and plenty of room to move freely?

Working at Heights; Illumination; Climate; Restricted Movement; Housekeeping; Working Surfaces; Working Near Water

MOTELS….. Safe 6……. No connection with the “keep the lights on” folks.  Our MOTELS is an acronym, not a hotel chain.  Each letter represents a category of potentially dangerous activities or conditions.  By now you can recite the Safe 6 and know that the first step is “Recognize all the Dangers.”  Everything associated with the rest of Safe 6 relies on an understanding of those dangers.

See MOTELS

©2015 The Safely Working Project & P.D. Shafer III

“Safe 6” is a registered trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.
“Safely Working” is a trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.

∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼

While we believe what The Safely Working Project is promoting is useful to all employers and safety professionals, our efforts are directed at those small businesses that can’t afford or don’t have a safety professional to facilitate workplace safety.

The Safely Working Project envisions a path to workplace safety that is driven by employees and supervisors.  This is fundamentally different from the traditional Safety Program where an EHS Professional manages workplace safety.  So, instead of top down safety, Safely Working™ endeavors to succeed from the ground up. “We’re turning safety upside down.”

MOTELS – Location……

location

Where are you working? What are the working conditions such as lighting and temperature? Are you working above floor level or near water?   Is the workspace free of debris, obstructions or other activities that could interfere? Do you have solid footing and plenty of room to move freely?

Working at Heights; Illumination; Climate; Restricted Movement; Housekeeping; Working Surfaces; Working Near Water

MOTELS….. Safe 6……. No connection with the “keep the lights on” folks.  Our MOTELS is an acronym, not a hotel chain.  Each letter represents a category of potentially dangerous activities or conditions.  By now you can recite the Safe 6 and know that the first step is “Recognize all the Dangers.”  Everything associated with the rest of Safe 6 relies on an understanding of those dangers.

See MOTELS

©2015 The Safely Working Project & P.D. Shafer III

“Safe 6” is a registered trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.
“Safely Working” is a trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.

∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼

While we believe what The Safely Working Project is promoting is useful to all employers and safety professionals, our efforts are directed at those small businesses that can’t afford or don’t have a safety professional to facilitate workplace safety.

The Safely Working Project envisions a path to workplace safety that is driven by employees and supervisors.  This is fundamentally different from the traditional Safety Program where an EHS Professional manages workplace safety.  So, instead of top down safety, Safely Working™ endeavors to succeed from the ground up. “We’re turning safety upside down.”

MOTELS – Energy……

energy

Are you working with or around sources of energy? Has qualified person evaluated the energy hazards? Do you need special protective equipment or monitoring devices?

Acoustic; Electric; Hydraulic; Pneumatic; Thermal; Radiation; Rotational

 

 

MOTELS….. Safe 6……. No connection with the “keep the lights on” folks.  Our MOTELS is an acronym, not a hotel chain.  Each letter represents a category of potentially dangerous activities or conditions.  By now you can recite the Safe 6 and know that the first step is “Recognize all the Dangers.”  Everything associated with the rest of Safe 6 relies on an understanding of those dangers.

See MOTELS

©2015 The Safely Working Project & P.D. Shafer III

“Safe 6” is a registered trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.
“Safely Working” is a trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.

∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼

While we believe what The Safely Working Project is promoting is useful to all employers and safety professionals, our efforts are directed at those small businesses that can’t afford or don’t have a safety professional to facilitate workplace safety.

The Safely Working Project is an approach to workplace safety that is driven by employees and supervisors.  This is fundamentally different from the traditional Safety Program where an EHS Professional manages workplace safety.  So, instead of top down safety, Safely Working™ endeavors to succeed from the ground up. “We’re turning safety upside down.”