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Occupational Health and Safety success factors?

Discussion in 'OHSAS - Occupational Health and Safety' started by Claes Gefvenberg, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. Claes Gefvenberg

    Claes Gefvenberg Moderator Staff Member

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    We already have a thread about Worthy Incentives for Safety Programs, so how about success factors? What made it work well (or by all means, the other way around) for you? We are doing quite well, and were asked to come up with a list of the reasons behind this, so why not use them to start a discussion here? Those are some of the factors we listed, not in order of importance or anything like that:
    • Integrated management system covering H&S, Environment, Energy & Quality.
    • Long term safety focus, promoting Safety First at all times (Meetings, Communication, Information, Visits, Decisions, SOP’s etc). We regard safety not as a project, but rather as a way of life.
    • Excellent cooperation between Management and Union Safety Rep (the former was part of the 18001 project group)
    • Open communication between all staff and dep’s.
    • Profit and safety are not regarded as mutually exclusive.
    • We concentrate on using the methods, procedures and tools already at our disposal, rather than on coming up with new ones. Our resources are limited, and we need to hoard them by keeping things simple.
    • Systematic and recurring safety training for current as well as new staff, with the intention to make safety awareness a second nature.
    • Safety licenses for all staff and contractors, renewed annually via web based tests, and required in order to gain access to the site.
    • We focus more on on taking action as necessary, than on reports and administration, even though the latter is also important.
    • Safety Days, used to go through certain safety aspects in detail.
    • Weekly spot check follow up of previous actions.
    • Extensive use of Work permits, thereby promoting day to day risk assessments.
    • Machine meetings frequently lead to immediate actions,
    • Risk Assessments are kept up to date
    • A limited no. of objectives is preferred, as it allows us to concentrate on, and deal with them.
     
    Brian Vandolah and Somashekar like this.
  2. Jennifer Kirley

    Jennifer Kirley Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't see anything missing. I have had it both ways in my employment history, and fully support the concept of safety as a return on investment. It does take work and the payoff can be less than clear, so many managers are still a bit reluctant.
     
    Claes Gefvenberg likes this.
  3. Brian Vandolah

    Brian Vandolah Member

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    How about the person(s) in charge of safety promoting the practice of "leading by example"? That to me is one of the most important success factors.

    To tell you why - about a year ago, my predecessor (who also happened to work in sales) tried to implement a safety program that was supposedly similar to one that GM used (he claimed to have 15 years of experience in the safety field at GM, which I immediately raised the BS flag on, since I was already familiar with his modus operandi of telling tall tales)....

    Over the next 10 months we had maybe 2 safety meetings because he cancelled most of the monthly meetings citing that "he was too busy", rarely participated in safety activities and constantly made unilateral decisions without respecting the opinions of the other safety team members (we were barely even a committee and he though he had all the answers)....to sum it up, he never evolved the safety program into what it should have become. After a not-so-pleasant critique of this person's performance, he angrily stepped down and I reluctantly stepped up in his place. By that time it was evident that his ego (or pride) was just dragging everyone else down.

    While I did not have the 15+ years experience that he supposedly had, I am very resourceful and I know how to research something to complete exhaustion and adapt it where necessary. I knew exactly what my first action item had to be: kick him off the safety team, and I did o_O. After that, I established what would become our formal safety committee agenda and we re-vamped the team, by implementing regular monthly safety meetings (including recording minutes and actions), hazard identification and ranking, workplace safety inspections, and establishing formal safety objectives and targets which we now review every quarter.

    Since I was at the forefront of all of these new controls, I felt I had a responsibility to at least take the first plunge and show everyone else the potential impact of these improvements. After only 3 months, we are as geologically active as ever, worker participation is at an all-time high and we have improvements projects left and right just waiting to be tackled. Something about that tells me that we're definitely going in the right direction.

    Never thought I'd see this kind of impact in a low-risk SME industry such as ours....but on a brighter note, my predecessor doesn't work here anymore (apparently he had numerous other issues and was let go). Had he been allowed to continue what he was doing, the safety program would have been let go too.
     
  4. Claes Gefvenberg

    Claes Gefvenberg Moderator Staff Member

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    Right you are, of course. I forgot that one. :confused:
     

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