No, this is not about housekeeping. Quite a while ago we went under the hood, so to speak, about Safe 6®. This post is concerned with the Safely Working™ “chassis,” which is the framework an employer uses to maintain a Safely Working™ Environment. It also is an organizational tool to facilitate documenting compliance with OSHA regulations, but of even greater value is its role in defining an employer’s training strategy. The Safely Working™ “chassis” has six points:
These are terms that an employer and supervisor may encounter in workplace regulations and standards. The OSHA regulations vary as to their specificity and detail; they can require plans and programs or may simply identify procedures and practices employees must follow at work. Reading and interpreting regulations can be confusing if their purpose is not understood from the start, so here’s a brief description of each point:
A policy is a specific requirement that applies to all employees. It establishes a basis for the applicable conditions based on company requirements that may or may not be influenced by OSHA regulations. For example, All employees are required to wear safety shoes and eye protection throughout the facility except the office annex.
A process is an operation or combination of activities and tasks that represent a product or service supplied by the employer. It may be manufacturing or well drilling. Ultimately, it defines an employee’s job and what they do at work.
A program is a broad set of requirements, guidelines and controls developed for certain activities. These activities may be conducted on a frequent, occasional or infrequent basis. Examples of programs include training, respiratory protection and hazard communication. Typically, these programs have some origin or relationship with specific OSHA requirements.
A plan is a specific set of requirements, procedures and controls. Plans are typically completed in preparation and anticipation of uncontrolled or emergency conditions where quick actions are required. A plan is necessary where there is not enough time to address the issue from scratch. Examples of plans include emergency action plans and spill control plans. These may also originate or are prompted by OSHA regulations.
A procedure is a step-by-step means of completing an activity. It may or may not be referenced in a program or plan. There are procedures for many activities including welding, changing a tire and working at height.
A practice is the performance of a specific task or step in a procedure, plan, program or process. It is where Sensible Care is applied by employees in the workplace. Practices include safe lifting, handling flammable liquids and using ladders.
We’ve said in the past that the centerpiece of The Safely Working Project is Safe 6® which makes it relevant to each of the six points just described. The versatility of Safe 6® is that it can be applied to any of these points. The fact is, Safe 6® is an essential component in each point and should be used when preparing policies, plan, programs and the rest. It puts form and function on the Safely Working chassis!
Building a chassis with Safe 6® and these points organizes all of an employer’s Safely Working™ efforts so an effective training program can be developed— not just what training is required, but who gets what training. Target employee groups can be identified and appropriate objectives for information, awareness and detailed training can be determined. That’s a very important topic for another day.
©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.”