Minor Updates to the Site

Added page on STS Certification

Significant updates to the Recommended Sites and Links Page.

Added direct download links to:

OSHA General Industry Regulations (pdf)
OSHA Construction Industry Regulations (pdf)
NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (pdf)
DOT 2012 NA Emergency Response Guidebook (pdf)

Updated the About the Project Page.

New posts in the Safe 6 Series scheduled for next week.


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

Safe Work Practices, Back to Basics…… Really?

A recent comment about Safe 6 suggested that it represented “getting back to basics.”  Certainly, that’s it on the surface.  However, I contend that we’ve never done the “basics” very well.    My evidence is this.  Define “safe work practices.”

We all know what a safe work practice is, but have you ever read an actual definition? OSHA doesn’t define it.  But, they do think it’s a very important part of workplace health and safety.  “Safe work practices” are mentioned five times in the non-mandatory OSHA Health and Safety Program Management Guidelines.

(See:  https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_id=12909&p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER)

You’ll be hard pressed to find a complete definition of safe work practice.  Here are a couple definitions I found, so I’ll save you the trouble of searching yourself.  Are they complete?

Definition 1 – From <http://definitions.uslegal.com/s/safe-work-practices/>

 “Safe work practices are procedures adopted for carrying out specific tasks that ensures workers’ exposure to hazardous situations, substances, and physical agents is controlled in a safe manner.”

Definition 2 – From <http://wiki.answers.com/Q/The_definition_for_safe_work_practices>

“Safe work practices are generally written methods outlining how to perform a task with minimum risk to people, equipment, materials, environment, and processes. “

Nothing earth-shattering there.  Pretty much how you’d describe a safe work practice…. what it takes to get the job done safely.  Okay, write your own safe work practice for changing a light bulb using the above definitions.  So, does either definition help?  Sure, I know one of you yelled at me and said, conduct a JHA or JSA and use that. Good answer, I couldn’t agree more.

However, a JSA/JHA is a fairly formal process that is completed by a team trained to complete the analysis.  It is essential for complicated, poorly characterized tasks.  Is it absolutely necessary for the more routine scheduled tasks?  I don’t believe so.  Anyway, do you have a JHA team on stand-by whenever you need them.  I didn’t think so.

So where does that leave us? I contend that without a clear, structured definition of a safe work practice the situation will result in unclear, unstructured safe work practices and training….. or none at all!!  Oh, wait a minute. What about Safe 6?


©2014 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.

Wishful Thinking or Real Value?

Last week I was speaking to a Safety Professional about Safe 6 and how it could be implemented in his situation.  His company has a number of teams that are deployed in the field.  Most teams have a safety lead.  Several teams don’t.  He asked how “Safe 6” could be implemented by his field supervisors in teams without safety reps.  Could Safe 6 be an effective solution?

I responded enthusiastically, that it would be easy.  Just use Safe 6 as objectives and discussion points.  He said uh huh or okay … or something.   In retrospect, my response was clear in my mind, but must have been a fairly vague answer in his view.  Of course, that’s part of the challenge I have as I promote the concept.

Speaking at ASSE Chapter meetings and hosting tables at professional development conferences has helped me understand how Safe 6 is perceived.  It has been important for me to be a good listener, not just to whom I’m speaking but, to myself.  As a result, these opportunities have helped me recognize I need to do a much better job describing and communicating what Safe 6 represents and its real value.

So, as a result of this interchange and discussions with others I’m going to take some time to explain how supervisors can leverage Safe 6 to their team’s benefit.  Over the next few weeks I will be posting a series of short discussions in an effort to demonstrate that what is clear in my head is not over-enthusiasm and wishful thinking.

The first in the series will discuss “safe work practices.”  It will be posted by the end of the week.


©2014 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.

Promoting The Safely Working Project in New England

Dave at NE PDC (Small)

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our table yesterday at the New England ASSE Professional Development Conference.  I was extremely pleased with the level of interest.  It was very successful from my perspective.  There were lots of great questions and I was able to spend considerable time discussing the Project.   I’m very happy I made the decision to attend.  I continue to be encouraged to carry on the development and promotion of  The Safely Working Project.  (Thanks to Jerry from the Western New England Chapter of the National Safety Council for taking the photograph.)