Control Conditions and Remove Dangers

controlMake it Safe – Clear the workspace of all unneeded materials, equipment and other possible obstructions.  Complete applicable work permit requirements.  Post any required signs or permits and install barricades.  Have the permit reviewed and approved by your supervisor.  Put on required PPE.

See “The Safe 6 Pack

 

©2016 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.”

 

 

PrintFriendlyEmailShare

Does Everyone Have It?

IMG_20150903_183855Recently, I discussed the supervisor’s job description that included safety responsibilities, yet required no safety skills or qualifications.  I asked why and answered with……

“I believe it’s for the same reason there is no good definition of safe work practice ……  Safety is common sense, isn’t it?  Everyone knows you have to be safe.  Yes, but does everyone know how to be safe?  We’ll discuss this in another installment.”

I guess I should have said we’ll discuss it in the next installment, because that’s what I want to focus on now.

The assumption that safety is common sense (at least general safety) is not acceptable. How many times have you heard a trainer or supervisor say “you can do it, it’s just common sense?”  Okay, what is common sense?  As I do much more often than I did years ago, I looked it up in the dictionary. (Actually dictionary.com to be truthful.) Here’s the definition:

common sense, (noun) 1. sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence.   From <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/common%20sense?s=t>

So, is safety a reasonable component of “normal native intelligence?” Not really but, that’s why it’s assumed everyone knows what a safe work practice is and why supervisors are responsible for safety, but need no safety qualifications.

Did you see how I ignored the main part of the definition to make my point?  Let me ask the question again, this way: So, is safety “sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like?”   Are you wired with “sound practical judgment” or is it learned? Some might say yes, to the extent that people want to avoid injury and pain.  But, that assumption is contradicted by those who enjoy the thrill of risk-taking.  Even if an employee has common sense, is it used?  I’m reminded of a statement I’ve heard numerous times over the years….. “common sense ain’t so common.”

The idea of common sense as a reasonable expectation may be perpetuated by employees obediently listening quietly to trainers and supervisors.  While important safety information may be short changed because it is thought to be common sense, employees may also be accepting information with blind faith.  I am not talking about spiritual or religious faith.  I mean generally as “belief without true understanding, perception, or discrimination” as defined here: From <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/blind%20faith?s=t>  Keep in mind, not everyone knows they don’t understand something during training.  They may be hesitant to ask for an explanation because the implication is that they should already understand.  New employees may be more susceptible to this.

My point is that trainers and supervisors may inappropriately assume employees have common sense and employees are not always well-prepared to challenge trainers and supervisors for better safety information.  The combination is less than ideal from a safety perspective.

The Safely Working Project is working to remove common sense from safety vocabulary and replace it with “Sensible Care*.”  Sensible Care cannot be assumed because it is not “native intelligence,” it is learned.  It can be achieved by providing employees with all the information and guidance needed to be Safely Working.  With sound information, employees will be better poised to use good judgment so their efforts can be completed safely.   Supervisors will also be in a better position to monitor and mentor employees.

Safe 6 is integral to Sensible CareSafe 6 doesn’t assume common sense as a prerequisite.  It is designed to identify the information employees need to be Safely Working with Sensible Care.  All the more reason to get into detail about Safe 6….. Soon.

*Just for the sake of completeness, here are definitions of sensible and care that form the basis of the application of the phrase “Sensible Care:”

Sensible: having or showing good sense or judgment. From <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sensible>
Care: effort made to do something correctly, safely, or without causing damage. From <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/care>

 

©2016 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.

∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼∼

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.”

PrintFriendlyEmailShare

The Case for Safe 6……

IMG_20150903_184115Do me a favor, please….. go to safetysidekick.com 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: http://tinyurl.com/ppf5w8x 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.”

 

PrintFriendlyEmailShare

Tips for Safe 6

Tips for Safe 6r_002

 

©2016 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.”

PrintFriendlyEmailShare

Inspect and Check All Equipment

inspectEliminate the Unexpected – Complete an inspection before you begin the task. Verify the location and operation of safety features. Review available records of past regular inspections. Don’t use the equipment if inspection and service is out of date; Remember, regular service and maintenance is a manufacturer’s requirement to assure safe operation.

See “The Safe 6 Pack

 

©2016 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.”

 

PrintFriendlyEmailShare

Safely Supervising – Critical Element……

Is Safely Working really an important part of a supervisor’s job?  I scoured the Internet for supervisor job descriptions.  The results were less than impressive.  One site seemed to offer a very comprehensive job description.  As part of the description it described  “job purpose,”  “job duties,” and  required “skills/qualifications.”  Of the 10 duties listed, one addressed safety responsibilities.  It stated:

  • Maintains safe, secure, and healthy work environment by following and enforcing standards and procedures; complying with legal regulations.

Not bad, so I then reviewed the skills and qualifications.  The list included supervision, delegation, quality focus, profitability, and even more requirementsdevastation.  Guess what?  None had anything to do with safety.  Why is that?

I believe it’s for the same reason there is no good definition of safe work practice (not that it is needed now that we use Safe 6!),  safety is common sense, isn’t it?  Everyone knows you have to be safe.  Yes, but does everyone know how to be safe?  We’ll discuss this in another installment.

By the way, I trust we are all on the same page in the belief that supervisors and group leaders are in the best position to facilitate workplace safety.  Let’s consider a supervisor job description that focuses on Safely Working:

  1. Set a good example by compliance with Safety Program requirements, proper work attire and use of protective equipment.
  2. Inspect work areas daily to identify unsafe conditions and/or work practices.
  3. Ensure that suitable tools are used for each task, and are maintained in safe operating condition.
  4. Verify and document that all employees are trained and have read and fully understand the operating procedures before machinery or equipment is used.
  5. Verify that the work is being performed using safe work practices and work methods.
  6. Continuously monitor the work site and correct any unsafe practices or conditions that exist on any part of the job.
  7. Initiate prompt, corrective action when hazards are apparent to him or are brought to his attention by others.
  8. Hold weekly “Team” safety meetings to:
    1. Encourage safety suggestions from employees.
    2. Discuss unsafe work practices and conditions observed.
    3. Review recent accidents or incidents and discuss ways to prevent similar occurrences.

Now that covers the landscape pretty well.  Of course for a supervisor to be successful the employer and employees must be committed to Safely Supervising*.  Otherwise, the supervisor will soon ignore those responsibilities and will be spending more time investigating and documenting accidents and injuries.

Now, where does Safe 6 fit into this and how does it help supervisors?  In a previous post I provided this list of ways to apply Safe 6:

Safe 6 as the Rule
Safe 6 as the Meeting Agenda
Safe 6 as the Training Objectives
Safe 6 as the Corrective Conversation
Safe 6 as the Mentoring Guide
Safe 6 as the Solution

If you review this list with the job duties above you’ll find them to be quite compatible, if not totally in alignment.  I wish I could take credit for that but, some things just work.  Safe 6 is a customized safe work practice: supercharged, detailed and ready to go!

My next stop will be looking under the hood of Safe 6.  Don’t worry, I’ll keep it simple and sensible.

A special thanks to LNB for granting permission to use the supervisor job description.

*The Safely Working Project encourages Safely Supervising.  Check out the STS page for information about becoming a Safety Trained Supervisor.

 

©2016 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.”

 

PrintFriendlyEmailShare