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More Elements of Effective Safety Management Systems

Worksite Analysis

Worksite analysis is a combination of systematic actions that provide the employer with the information necessary to recognize and understand the existing and potential hazards of the workplace. While these actions may appear complicated, they are really basic activities that are performed in most workplaces. It includes these actions:

  • A comprehensive hazard identification program established and a hazard inventory completed.
  • Regular site safety and health inspections are completed on a regular basis (i.e. monthly or more often).
  • A system is established for employees to report hazards without fear of reprisal.
  • An accident/incident investigation procedure is in place.
  • A procedure for analyzing injury/illness trends at least annually established.

Comprehensive Identification

In order to design a program of prevention and control, an employer must have a comprehensive hazard survey, a change analysis, and a routine hazard analysis.

The comprehensive hazard survey is the most basic tool used to establish a prevention and control program. This survey should be performed by experts, preferably someone not involved with the workplace, who has a broad knowledge base of safety engineering, industrial hygiene and, if applicable, occupational medicine. This survey identifies current and possible hazards at the worksite. This survey should be performed on a periodic basis.

The second component used to build a prevention and control program is the change analysis. This analysis is conducted prior to a change i n facilities, equipment, processes, or materials in the workplace. In this way, potential hazards can be identified before the change goes into effect. It will also provide a source of savings for the employer in that possible faulty designed can be locate d and changed before going into place.

The last component of the comprehensive hazard identification is the routine hazard analysis. The most basic form of routine hazard analysis is the job safety analysis. This analysis divides a job into tasks and steps, and then it allows for an analysis of potential hazards. A method of prevention and control can then be developed from the analysis that can eliminate the potential hazards.

  • Require periodic inspections, surveys or consultations from outside source s such as your insurance carrier or the on-site consultation project in your state. Require periodic industrial hygiene surveys.
  • Develop procedures to be conducted by in -house personnel to support the improvement recommendations made in those surveys, such as insuring that ventilation systems are maintained, personal protective equipment is used, etc.
  • Require that capital expenditures for new facilities or new equipment be reviewed from a safety aspect during their planning stages.
  • Secure from equipment manufacturers use and servicing instructions for all equipment in use.
  • Ensure that your operating procedures are consistent with safety rules furnished by the manufacturer and that they are adequate to protect your workforce.
  • Develop specific safe work procedures using job hazard analysis techniques for tasks where the procedures are insufficient or lacking.
  • Perform routine job hazard analyses on all new tasks, tasks involving new machinery or processes, and tasks identified as being involved in accidents.

Worksite Inspections

Each worksite should perform a safety and health inspection on a regular basis. Employees at the worksite can be trained to perform these inspections. The goal of performing this inspection will be to identify any controls that might have slipped since the routine analysis was performed.

  • Develop an inspection program and assign responsibility.
  • Train in-house safety inspectors and supervisors in hazard identification.
  • Require written reports of inspections.
  • Follow up to ensure correction of items identified by in -house inspectors.
  • Develop interim protections as a temporary hazard correction.

Reporting Hazards

The goal of any safety and health program is to identify and correct hazards before they become a problem and employees are harmed. The employer should use all employees as hazard lookouts. The name of the game is accident and illness prevention, and it should start with each person who enters the job site. To be effective, employees need to know whom to notify and how, fear no reprisal. Employees will also need to see timely response to their reports. These responses are visible evidence of management's commitment to worker safety and health and your desire for meaningful employee involvement.

  • Develop a safety observation and reporting system to provide a way for employees to notify you of conditions or practices they think are hazardous.
  • Ensure that all new employees are aware of how to report unsafe conditions and what actions should be taken while the hazard is being corrected.
  • Develop a tracking procedure that requires final disposition of recommendations or hazards reported.
  • Develop a response system to ensure that employees are informed of decisions; this will increase employee's confidence that you are serious about safety and health.

Incident/Accident Analysis

Unfortunately accidents can happen. Accidents must be investigated and analyzed in a timely manner while the facts are still fresh and allows for accident reenactment. Prompt investigation also indicates managements concern.

Employers should use accidents as learning tools by investigating them to determine the causes and then developing ways to avoid similar situations in the future. Every accident has a cause. Once you determine what caused the accident, you can take steps to keep it from happening again and minimize time loss. The emphasis for accident investigation should be on fact-finding, not fault finding. Because the immediate supervisor is usually first on the scene, the supervisor should be trained in accident investigation. The investigation should determine:

  1. Exactly what happened and where;
  2. Under what circumstances the accident occurred; and
  3. What should be done to prevent the circumstances which caused the accident
    • Develop an accident investigation procedure.
    • Train supervisors in accident investigation techniques.
    • Require that all accidents be investigated, the cause determined and corrective action taken within 24 hours of the accident.
    • Insist upon fact-finding, not fault finding.
    • Take constructive steps to eliminate or control the hazard that caused the accident.
    • Ensure that employees understand that hazardous conditions and unsafe acts will not be tolerated.

Trend Analysis

A good record keeping system can help management by providing them with the means to objectively evaluate the magnitude of his accident problems. Tracking injuries and illnesses over periods of time can be useful information in devising a prevention plan. They can help you discover trends such as an increase in the number of severity of accidents, or an increase in a certain kind of accident, or an increase of accidents in a certain department. They may also point out problem areas that are missed by simple inspections.

  • Develop a system for reporting incidents involving no injury, near-miss accidents and first aid cases.
  • Assign responsibility for maintaining records (200 Logs and other accident/incident forms) to one individual.
  • Analyze accident records (200 logs, first aid cases, no injury reports) on an annual basis to identify trends or for common underlying or primary cause factors.

Source: Onsite Safety & Health Consultation Program, Industrial Services Division, Illinois Department of Commerce & Community Affairs

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Copyright ©2000-2019 Geigle Safety Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Federal copyright prohibits unauthorized reproduction by any means without permission. Disclaimer: This material is for training purposes only to inform the reader of occupational safety and health best practices and general compliance requirement and is not a substitute for provisions of the OSH Act of 1970 or any governmental regulatory agency. CertiSafety is a division of Geigle Safety Group, Inc., and is not connected or affiliated with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).