Making Safety Creating Activities Happen

Safety Management Series – Making Safety Creating Activities Happen

 <br />By Alan Quilley</p>  <p>In previous articles, I've been very critical of targets related to the absence of a negative. Targets for &quot;avoiding injury&quot; are not safety targets. My opinion is that this illogical approach to setting goals in safety only serves to frustrate and in some cases confuses and although unintended, motivates people to be &quot;creative&quot; with their injury statistics. I'd like to offer a logical and highly motivating alternative. &quot;Targeting and Celebrating the Creation of Safety.&quot; There is no doubt that we'll always count our failures... but as an alternative focus, let's count and measure our activities designed to create a safe production process. Targeting and celebrating the creation of safety through an activity accountability system will leave managers who have been managing safety through counting injuries wondering why in the world they didn't do this sooner!</p>  <p>This positive approach is really a straightforward eight step process. The most important feature of this approach is that it mirrors how most companies and corporations manage the production of their goods and services. Managers are used to being measured by what they create... they are good at it. Let's make safety look more like the other parts of our businesses and we will be successful in similar ways.</p>  <p><strong>The Safety Accountability Process</strong></p>  <p>A simple accountability process you can use consists of eight definable steps. Here are some details to consider when implementing a process that will ensure accountability:</p>  <p><strong>1. Select it</strong></p>  <p>It's important to select the &quot;It&quot; activities that your company believes will create a safe work process. These can be either behavioural type of outcomes. For example, &quot;All staff and visitors will wear appropriate personal protective equipment while working in and visiting the welding shop&quot;. These activities can also be activities that ensure physical outcomes. For example, &quot;The welding shop floor will be free from defects, damage and walkways clear of tripping and slipping hazards&quot;.</p>  <p><strong>2. Define it</strong></p>  <p>The next step is to define the measurable activities you believe will create the desired outcome. Daily inspections will be conducted. For example, &quot;Welders will clear walkways immediately adjacent to the work benches before and after every project&quot;.</p>  <p><strong>3. Assign it</strong></p>  <p>Nesting safety creating activities throughout the hierarchy of your organization is essential to an accountability success. Each level of the organization needs to be accountable to ensure those reporting to them have done their safety creating activities. This ensures that each level of manager will support those reporting to them and allow the time and money necessary to accomplish the activities.</p>  <p><strong>4. Train it</strong></p>  <p>Clarity in exactly what is expected of the various levels in your organization will help achieve safety success. Far too often this step is missed. Assuming that executives know how to do a &quot;safety tour&quot; can be a big problem. Training and coaching is a critical part of any accountability process. I must be both willing (motivated through accountability) and able (trained, competent and skilled) to do what I am responsible to do.</p>  <p><strong>5. Measure it</strong></p>  <p>It's important in any accountability systems to measure both the quality and quantity of the activities that have been assigned. Doing any activity many times poorly will not accomplish much in creating safety. Inspections done in offices just to make sure the form is filled out will not enhance safety. A quality check must be part of the measures. If your people have been trained and coached to do a great job of their safety activities, they will look forward to being measured.</p>  <p><strong>6. Evaluate it</strong></p>  <p>In any plan that is implemented, it is crucial to test that the results are being achieved. Activities conducted need to be supported by these results. If the activities have been properly selected and executed, a corporation should expect to see goals accomplished. These results are usually observed through site visits and surveys of key individuals. People who have been measured for their activities will very much look forward to the results that have come about because of their hard work.</p>  <p>Reports of levels of activities and their corresponding results are part of this management system. Executives should know clearly what their organization is doing to create safety and what results are being realized.</p>  <p>For example, knowing that &quot;Division B has completed 254 safety inspections with an average quality score of 95% which has resulted in 136 opportunities to improve implemented and that 57 still outstanding items need to be completed&quot; actually helps the managers of Division B to manage! Something that simply knowing injury statistics that 5 people had a lost time claim this year can never hope to do.</p>  <p><strong>7. Celebrate &amp; Reward it</strong></p>  <p>There is a time in every process to celebrate the success. The process is not complete until those who have created the success can celebrate their accomplishment. These celebrations can be everything from a simple thank you to the team up to and including a formal bonus system. Your culture will define how, what and when to celebrate... but don't miss this step!</p>  <p><strong>8. Start Again</strong></p>  <p>In any continuous improvement process there is a time to evolve and a time to move forward. Sometimes the problem has been solved and further efforts will simple get no more results. It is then time to move on to the next idea, the next activity that is believed to be additive to the safety of the people performing the work.</p>  <p>The final comment I'll make is that in all likelihood your organization already has a way to manage product and service creating activities. The more you're able to make your company's safety creating activity accountability process look like what is already being done in your company, the faster you will see positive results. Never forget that &quot;to measure is to motivate&quot;. There's a very good chance the dependence on counting injuries and other negative outcomes will disappear because... there won't be any to count!</p>  <p>Visit us at <a href="" target="_new" rel="nofollow"></a> and join the conversation at <a href="" target="_new" rel="nofollow"></a></p>  <p>Article Source:     <br /><a href=";id=7650908" target="_new">;id=7650908</a>
Alan D. Quilley is the author of “The Emperor Has No Hard Hat – Achieving REAL Safety Results” and “Creating & Maintaining a Practical Based Safety Culture”. He’s the president of Safety Results Ltd., a Sherwood Park, Alberta, OHS consulting company. You can reach him at aquilley@ or through his Safety Blog –

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