In my last few blogs, I have written about how the OSHA guidelines for an effective health and safety program compare to CALMC’s Safety Always process. As we have noted, Safety Always is well aligned with the OSHA process.
Last time, I discussed the safety assessment process, including the written safety assessment and walk-throughs to identify potential safety problems. The first time each is done, they provide valuable information to the employee-management safety team. They also provide a benchmark to help determine the effectiveness of the entire process.
We recommend to the organizations that have adopted Safety Always that both of these types of assessment be repeated regularly. We normally repeat the written assessment after about a year to determine how employee attitudes about safety and its importance in the organization have changed. We repeat the safety walk-through to make sure the problems identified previously have been corrected. We use both to identify new areas for the team to address.
Our teams also regularly review accident reports and talk about “close calls” that may have occurred. The accident data, both in terms of accident frequency and severity, becomes another measure of program effectiveness.
CALMC provides neutral facilitation for the safety teams for at least the first year of the process. This helps the team maintain focus and continue the use of tools employed by effective teams that were presented in their initial training.
The results of the Safety Always process have been impressive. Accident rates have dropped significantly and have remained at the lower levels. Unlike other safety programs, the companies that have adopted our process have sustained the improved safety record over the long term. Employers are working safer and thinking safety, resulting in fewer injuries and an improved bottom line for the employer.
I always refer to Safety Always as a process, not a program. The number of safety programs out there demonstrates their ineffectiveness over the long haul. (If they did produce a lasting impact on reducing injuries and eliminating health concerns, there would not be a need for as many programs!) Safety Always involves working with employees to always think about safely, not just when they pass by a sign. Too often, employers talk about the importance of safety, but set it aside when pushing productivity. Safety Always recognizes the importance of productivity, but not at the expense of safety.
How is the safety record in your workplace? Could it use improvement? If so, consider Safety Always, and give us a call to discuss how it can be implemented in your workplace.