Safety Activities For Supervisors
I remember attending a mining and construction industry safety seminar a few years ago and a senior manager of one of the regulatory authorities suggested “a radically new industry wide safety initiative”. His idea was to collect regular data on serious injury frequency rates and publish a monthly ladder like for the NRL or AFL competitions with a prize for the lowest SIFR at the end. It was hard to believe what I was hearing. To continue with the football analogy, this was like winning a grand final or state of origin based on the team who gets the least number of penalties or errors regardless or how many goals or tries were scored!!!!!!.
What wins a football game are things the proper selection of skilled players, instilling teamwork, good coaches, quality training, good quality equipment, well thought out strategies and game plays etc. These winning requirements are the same as what makes the work place safe.
So I thought instead of measuring errors (or lack of them), what can we do to measure the effort that is put into improving workplace safety and preventing accidents. The other issue was that Managers and Supervisors had clearly defined responsibilities and accountabilities for Workplace Health and Safety but none of them had any idea about how to manage or improve safety. Many of them knew what they had to do but there was no incentive to do them as people weren’t getting hurt all the time so it wasn’t seen as necessary. Of course those who had a good safety record (good luck, not good management) were rewarded accordingly even though they were not doing anything different to the guys with a poor statistical injury record.
What we cam up with was a menu system that listed all of the proactive safety activities and initiatives that Managers and Supervisors could do. Points were allocated to each item and each Supervisor had to score a minimum number of points each month with a bonus for going over. Prizes were awarded to the site scoring the most points over a year. Of course, some of the activities were easier than others so these were awarded less points. Some activities were made mandatory and had to be completed for any point to be valid. Corporate safety audits focused solely on verifying point scores.
Example of menu items (of course there are many many more and points will depend on the site:
Weekly ToolBox talk (5 points) – Mandatory
Monthly Safety Committee Meeting – (15 points) Mandatory
Write a Safe Work Procedure (20 points)
Rectify a minor hazard (5 points)
Rectify a major hazard (50 points)
Restock First Aid Kit (5 points)
Show a safety video (5 points)
Root Cause Incident Investigation (30 points)
Employee submits an improvement suggestion (5 points)