An article in Michigan Manufacturing Magazine entitled “Safety as a Business Outcome” talks about how safety is not just an absence of injuries nor an outside process. The author Phil La Duke states that instead safety should be viewed as the output of sound business practices. When safety is ingrained within company’s procedures and processes it creates a more efficient workplace.
If you are a health and safety professional or are an employee looking to improve safety in your work place have you ever wondered what managers are looking for from you when it comes to safety management? This past week at the ASSE Safety 2015 conference Mark Hansen lead a session entitled “Business Lessons: What CEO’s and the C-Suite Want from Safety.” He shared several traits that CEO’s may be looking for from OSH professionals that will help them effectively manage safety responsibilities and make their senior managers pleased.
As of January 1, 2015 workplaces were expected to abide by the new OSHA rule that states that they must be notified within eight hours if a work related death occurs and within 24 hours if a work related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye occurs. OSHA has made this easy to remember by recently updating their safety poster. All employers that are covered under the Occupational Safety and Health Act are required to hang an OSHA poster displaying employee rights and employer responsibilities. While workplaces are not required to switch out their posters, the new poster is free and easily obtainable.
We’ve all been there, rushing from task to task, starting something new before finishing something current, ending a work day in a flurry of half finished tasks and high stress levels. Multitasking at its best, or shall we say worst. An article entitled “3 Tips for Practicing Mindfulness in a Multitasking Workplace” states that “multitasking depresses the brain’s memory and analytical function.” Not only is multitasking bad for your brain but it could also affect your physical safety. Not focusing on where you are walking or driving because you are too busy trying to plan what you should be doing next or emailing/texting at the same time as doing other tasks can have horrible consequences. By practicing this articles suggestions not only will your brain benefit but also it may help increase your safety.
- Focus on a single task for an allotted amount of time: Instead of trying to do 5 tasks at a time, set a certain time limit on your tasks. For example read/answer emails for 20 mins, review and fill out reports for a few hours at a time, splitting up each task. Instead of dropping everything every time someone asks you to start something new give them a time limit if possible so that you can finish what you are doing before going to help.
- Change your physical environment when you get “stuck” in a task: Have you ever had “writer’s block”? You can’t seem to finish a report or complete a task that you have been working on for a long period of time? Your mind is blank! The article suggests getting up and moving around, taking a walk or turning on some relaxing music. This change should help your brain rewire for relaxation and may open up your creative juices again.
- Delegate tasks: Ask for help, it’s hard to do when you want to do it all the way you want it to be done! If there are jobs that another person can successfully do, delegate those jobs so you can focus on tasks that need you specifically. This will help your stress level decrease and may also give another employee a confidence boost!
Using these techniques in the work place should help decrease your stress as well as make you more mindful to what’s going on around you. SlipNOT® safety products help take the stress out of keeping employees safe in slippery situations. High quality metal flooring products have been proven to last decades and can be fabricated to fit almost any work environment. Mindfulness in the workplace and at home can benefit everyone.
Smith, Sandy. “3 Tips for Practicing Mindfulness in a Multitasking Workplace.” www.ehstoday.com. April 11, 2015. May 27, 2015.
2014 Blog OSHA’s National Fall Safety Stand Down was a great success with more than 1 million workers being reached. This year OSHA is hoping for over 3 million workers to be reached which will mean that every 4 out of 10 construction workers in the U.S have been reached. This year’s scheduled Stand Down events are planned throughout the United States and take place May 4-15. The OSHA website provides scheduled events separated by region. These scheduled events are planned in places like resource centers, office buildings, college campuses, training facilities, steel factories and even U.S AirForce bases and the U.S Capital Dome.
What are some basic tips on how to create a proactive safety environment? Safety plans and procedures are extremely important but may also tend to be complex. Keeping safety simple as well as proactive within the workplace can not only keep safety accidents from happening but may help increase productivity and profitability. Keeley Schneider in his article “Proactive Safety Approaches for Safer Manufacturing” proposes four basic ways to keep your safety plan more proactive than reactive.
- Regular Inspections: Schneider suggests doing safety walks on a daily basis at different times throughout the day. Procedures need to be closely observed and notes need to be taken. If during one of these safety walks a problem is noted it must be addressed immediately and change must be made to all affected components. Putting off needed changes can only result in problems in the long run.
- Regular Maintenance: Unfortunately when a machine or a component of a machine starts to fail a short cut may be taken in order to avoid downtime and product deadline delays. While shortcuts may work temporarily they can cause more serious problems down the line resulting in longer down periods or even worse, worker injury. Regularly maintaining all equipment and taking the time to fix something the right way the first time will in the long term help keep production running smoothly.
- Everyone is Responsible for Safety: Employees should not be scared to report a safety incident. They should feel responsible for keeping themselves and others safe. If they are able to help solve a safety issue, such as a water spill, they should. If they are unable to safety help out a situation they need to contact someone who can.
- Place Emphasis on Safety Labeling: Because hazardous materials and equipment is required to have labels, make sure that strict importance is placed on this within the workplace. Be sure that all labels are in place before machinery is started or material containers are put away. If a warehouse is switching locations, be sure that all labeling happens before containers are moved around in order to avoid any confusion or accidents. Schneider also suggests that all MSDS sheets are filed immediately and not put off until a later time.
Being proactive in your approach to safety is a smart choice. Another way to be proactive is by installing high quality safety products that will keep accidents from happening. SlipNOT® high traction products help prevent slip and fall accidents from ever happening. The versatile metal products can be installed in new construction or can be retrofit over areas that are currently slippery.
Schneider, Keeley. “ Proactive Safety Approaches for Safer Manufacturing.” www.safety.com April 24, 2015 <http://www.safety.com/articles/proactive-safety-approaches-safer-manufacturing>
Social media is common place in today’s world and work place. Social media can be successfully used by a company to help promote and advertise company information, success stories and events. Can social media also be used within the workplace to strengthen the safety culture? An article by Terry L. Mathis on ehstoday.com talks about the success some companies have had by implementing a social media stream for employees specifically within the workplace.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification has become increasingly important and popular over the past 5-10 years. According to the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC), buildings that are LEED Certified “save money and resources and have a positive impact on the health of occupants, while promoting renewable, clean energy.”
Being in safety management is a difficult job in which not every safety manager appointed has been properly educated and trained to perform. How can an individual become a respected and effective safety manager if they do not necessarily have the background to do so? What are some good ways for individuals who have the proper education to relate and communicate with their workforce? A blog written by John Braun on slimplifiedsafety.com discusses three basic yet essential ways a safety manager can effectively manage a workforce as well as gain the respect needed in order to keep people listening.