Safe 6, Step One…… Recognize All the Dangers. Okay, it’s dangerous. So what. We’ll deal with it. It’s part of the job. We’ll take our chances……
Playing the lottery is taking a chance. Few people win, but people still play. Taking chances in the workplace is the same thing, only you don’t want your number to come up. When you take chances and your number does comes up, do you get to pick what happens to you? Cuts, sprains, fractures, disabling injuries, the big “D.” So you think you can deal with it. What about your family? Can they deal with it?
Back to step one. For the employee, recognizing the danger means knowing what activities are part of the task: think MOTELS. Everyone should be familiar with the activities and conditions represented by MOTELS and the specific dangers associated with them. The supervisor needs to know that and more, so she or he can properly monitor and anticipate problems. If a JSA has been developed, the supervisor already has a great tool for managing conditions and employees activities. However, if no JSA is available then the supervisor must do a “Danger Check” to make sure all the dangers have been recognized and reviewed.
While the “Danger Check” is not a replacement for the JSA, it is a helpful tool for supervisors. It should be completed for all tasks regardless of how simple or complicated the task. At a minimum, it provides the supervisor with a sensible method to carefully consider what is being required of employees. It can be especially useful when a task must be completed under different conditions or if it’s never been attempted before.
The six concerns of a “Danger Check” are:
- Characterization – Think MOTELS!
- Manageability – How is it done safely?
- Consequences – Can things go wrong?
- Urgency – Why it must be done?
- Feasibility – Can it be done?
- Advisability – Should it be done?
In reality, the answers are well known for normal workplace activities. Most are manageable because the dangers can be controlled or eliminated in advance. Consequently, they are unlikely or avoidable. Typically, activities will be scheduled and are designed to be easily completed. With that, the task certainly can be completed reasonably by employees using Sensible Care. However, if the “Danger Check” suggests that the task may be uncontrollable, or the dangers unavoidable, it’s an emergency, or is difficult to do, then task completion may be considered “inadvisable.”
The “Danger Check” is not a JSA or risk assessment nor does it replace either one. It is a tool that a supervisor can use when evaluating a task in advance of the JSA or risk assessment process. It helps identify some of the concerns that the supervisor should anticipate in the workplace. It’s not technical nor complicated. It’s another simple tool intended to help supervisors build and maintain a Safely Working™ Environment.
Safe 6: Step Two…… …… …… we’ll get to that later.
©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 will be 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.”