Safe 6 “Approved” MOTELS…… What?

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.   If any of the dangers are overlooked or ignored, an employee will face an increased chance of a mishap.   For our purpose, a mishap includes a near miss, over exposure, accident, injury or worse.

The employer has to identify and decide how to protect employees.  Typically, the dangers are revealed as a result of a formal JHA or job hazard analysis.  A JHA is conducted by a team that might include at least a safety professional, supervisor, and an employee.  That may or may not be practical for employers with no safety department or professional.  As important and useful as a JHA is, what does an employer do if that’s the case?  In time, any employer should be able to complete a good JHA.  Until that time, dangers still must be recognized and employees protected.

The supervisor is the likely individual for completing an inventory of the activities and conditions that may be dangerous to employees.  In a future post we’ll talk about a danger check and how to prioritize the inventory.  For now, we’ll just introduce the MOTELS…… no, not the ’80s new wave band.  Enough already, The Safely Working Project has developed its own categorization of dangers or hazards and described six categories that represent workplace dangers.  These categories are:


  • Materials HandlingMOTELS
  • Organizational
  • Tools & Machinery
  • Energy
  • Location
  • Substances


Each of the six categories have subcategories that further define the dangers.  Under Materials Handling we have…… manual handling; mechanical lifting; and motorized handling.  It also includes the transportation of employees and vehicle safety.

The Organizational category includes a variety of considerations that are influenced more by the employer than the surroundings.  Here we have to consider factors such as special procedures and requirements, management, leadership, planning and time available to do the job and so forth.

Hand tools, power tools and fixed machinery are in the next category, Tools & Machinery.  Within the Energy category we have thermal, acoustic energy and electricity.  Other sources include hydraulic, pneumatic, radiation, and so forth.

The Location category encompasses a number of subcategories that reflect conditions including the work surfaces, which may be near water, elevated or unstable.  It addresses illumination and temperature as well as housekeeping.

The last category is represented primarily by chemicals and biological hazards.  Of course, we can further subdivide different classes of Substances and into specific chemicals.

The categories are non-technical and easy to remember using MOTELS.  Just like Safe 6, MOTELS is simple and practical.  Because we are avoiding technical hazard terminology employees will easily understand and relate to the dangers during training and safety meetings.

Remember, MOTELS is a tool that supervisors can use to identify and describe hazards to employees.  It is not meant to replace the Job Hazard Analysis.  While employees are not responsible for doing a danger inventory, they need to be familiar with MOTELS and the dangers they represent if they are not properly protected from them.

Employees should be introduced to MOTELS as part of their orientation to Safe 6.  Understanding the dangers associated with MOTELS is essential for the effective application of Safe 6 by employees and Safely Working 100% of the Time.

Check back soon to see what the next Room Service Special is!!


©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.


Button, Button…… Who’s Got the Button?

 start here (Mobile)

I dare you, push the Start Here button.  What happens?  What should happen?  What do you want to happen?

That’s the first step.  What do you want to happen?  It colors everything else that does happen.  Is your objective OSHA compliance or do you want a Safely Working Environment?  In the last post I said that there was no Start Here button at  But, they do provide some guidance.  In the OSHA recommended “Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines” the first element in a program is “Management Commitment and Employee Involvement.”  There’s no question that getting everyone on the same page is the most important objective.   If you are game, review the Guidelines here.

So, the first step might be to prepare a statement committing to empowering employees and supervisors to build a Safely Working Environment.  Feel better now?  However, it’s not needed at the moment as we want to keep the guidance simple, sensible and easy to implement.

So, before you do that, adopt Safe 6.  Make it your workplace mantra.  Put it at the top of the list of workplace rules and requirements.  Make it the one rule to rule them all for your Safely Working Environment.  We’ve already discussed how Safe 6 fits into the workplace.  If you missed that discussion, you can be access the series of posts on the Safe 6 Pack page.

Hopefully, we sold you on the concept because Safe 6 is the real first step.  It is the START HERE button.  If employees and supervisors do nothing but use Safe 6 on the job, the Safely Working Environment is being shaped.  Everything else that you do supports “Safely Working 100% of the Time.”

Once we make Safe 6 the rule, we can build the Safely Working Environment around it.   So, familiarize yourself all 6 aspects that shape the Safely Working Environment.  We posted an overview a while back.  Check it out here.

  • ActivitiesWorkplace Activities and Conditions
  • AwarenessWorkplace Knowledge and Information
  • AvoidanceWorkplace Issues and Mishaps
  • AbilitiesEmployee Skills
  • AttitudeEmployee Values
  • AssetsEmployee Lifestyle

swe6 (Small)A Safely Working Environment will prevent dangerous conditions and unsafe behaviors.  Safe 6 is a its core.

Coming soon:  Safe 6 Approved MOTELS, Believe It or Not!?!


©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.

Free, No-Cost, Nothing to Buy, Nothing to Lose…… Go for It!

Free Training Tool For Workplace Safety

toolbox3 (Small)What is it?  “Safe 6” – A Simple Tool for Effective Employee Training for Safely Working.

Who is it for?  Trainers, Supervisors, Managers, Team Leaders, Employers and Safety Professionals.

Why use it?  Because no training is needed, it’s easy to use, it organizes training and it’s universal.

How do you use it?  Make “Safe 6” the Rule!  Introduce with fanfare, or integrate it slowly into your program.  Use “Safe 6” as a template and focal point in training for program development, preparation, delivery and evaluation.

Where can I get more information?   Click this button and you’ll have access to everything you need!

start here (Mobile)

Why is it free?  Because The Safely Working Project is dedicated to help make sure employees are “Safely Working 100% of the Time.”

Safety Should Not Be Proprietary!

Contact Information


©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.