in Encore

The Case for Safe 6……

IMG_20150903_184115Do me a favor, please….. go to and run a search for “10 most common workplace injuries.”  Open the link under WWW.  You’ll find a quick rundown of the 10 most common workplace injuries.  If you were to click on WWW and review the other results you’ll see that nearly all give the same list.  I’m not sure where the list originated, it’s not really important at the moment.

Now open this page at Liberty Mutual: This gives a breakdown of the top 10 most expensive workplace injuries.  If we compare the two lists we will find them to be very similar.  Our first list is now validated.

MOST COMMON MOST EXPENSIVE Activities & Conditions
1 Overexertion Overexertion Material Handling
2 Slips, trips and falls Slips, trips and falls Location
3 Fall from height Struck by Material Handling
4 Reaction Falls from height Location
5 Falling objects Reaction Location
6 Walking into Vehicle Material Handling
7 Vehicle Slip or trip without fall Location
8 Machinery Caught-in/compressed Tools & Machinery
9 Repetitive motion injury Repetitive motion injury Tools & Machinery
10 Violence Struck against Material Handling

Considering each mishap we can see that each is associated with a typical workplace activity or condition.   They involve safe work practices using tools and machinery, material handling and where employees work.  We really aren’t talking about unusual activities.  The specific circumstances may be unusual, but that is likely a result of the unsafe act or unsafe conditions that led to the mishap.

The important point here is that each of these mishaps is preventable.  Whether the root cause is inadequate maintenance or insufficient training, the injuries could have been avoided.   When insufficient training is identified as the cause employers need to take a closer look at their training programs.  Who’s conducting the training?  Does the training address appropriate practices and procedures?  Is there follow-up evaluation of the effectiveness of the training?

As discussed, the mishaps were related to common workplace safe work practices.  The Safely Working Project developed Safe 6® as a simple tool for training and supervision.  Recognition, Preparation, Inspection, Control, Operate and Guard can be applied to any safe work practice.  In fact, when Safe 6® is applied to a safe work practice it becomes a Safely Working Skill.  A skill requires focused instruction, more than just information.  Safe 6® provides simple objectives and a ready made outline for consistent effective training.

Make Safe 6® the one workplace rule to rule them all.  Use it in all your employee training. Your workplace will be safer as you build a Safely Working Environment.

For more information on Safe 6® check out The Safe 6 Pack page.


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

“Safe 6” and “Safely Working” are registered trademarks 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.”