Aspects of A World-Class Safety Program: Trends & Applications

The term “world-class,” in short, indicates being among the best. Having the best safety program means having the highest quality, most effective, and cutting edge safety program that moves the incident rate towards zero. A world-class safety program requires continuous improvements, and should also be measurable.

The SmartMarket Report survey respondents were asked to pinpoint essential aspects of a world-class safety program in 2012 and in 2015. The data collected allows for recording of changes and trends over these three years. The most striking difference observed was the role of jobsite workers’ involvement in safety planning (66 percent indicated as a necessary aspect of a world-class safety program in 2012 vs. 85 percent in 2015). Other significant changes included: ongoing access to safety training for supervisors and jobsite workers (69 percent in 2012 vs. 77 percent in 2015) and hazard assessment and safety plans at each new jobsite (70 percent in 2012 vs 76 percent in 2015). We discussed jobsite workers’ involvement in safety and health planning in this blog. This article will focus on the latter two aspects.

Download a free copy of the full SmartMarket Report 2016 here. 

Ongoing Access To Effective Safety Training

It’s tough to ensure the safety of workers on the job if they were only offered a one-time safety training, as they will forget overtime and easily pick up bad habits. Frequently refreshing workers’ memories on potential workplace hazards can help increase their awareness of their surroundings. Furthermore, regulations are always changing and technology constantly evolves, thus safety ongoing training will prepare workers to stay current with the newest compliance and be able to operate new equipment safely and efficiently. Ongoing safety training nurtures deeper understanding of safety issues and what to do in unsafe work situations, allowing workers to respond quickly during an emergency. Note that delivering the same training repetitively to your workers does not help make them safe; providing them ongoing access to effective training does. According to the ANSI Z490.1 Criteria for Accepted Practices in EH&S Training, creating, maintaining and evaluating an effective EH&S training program requires continuous assessment, evaluation and improvement. With all these benefits of ongoing safety training, it’s no surprise that 8 percent more respondents considered it an essential aspect of a world-class safety program in 2015 than three years ago.

Jobsite Hazard Assessment And Safety Plans

According to the 2016 SmartMarket Report, 30 percent of all respondents ranked conducting job hazard or job safety analysis among the most effective safety practices. This factor was also considered most effective by 54 percent of respondents from large companies (those with over 500 employees). The number of people understanding the critical role of jobsite hazard assessment is only growing over years. Six percent more respondents in 2015 considered it an essential aspect of a world-class safety program than in 2012. Yet this practice is still not widely used. Only two thirds of respondents conducted formal job hazard or job safety analysis before the project begins, showing room for safety management improvement. While being aware of the surroundings is everyone’s job, and sometimes overlooked as common sense, the vast majority of today injuries are preventable. OSHA identified the Fatal Four hazards responsible for nearly 60% of construction worker deaths every year. The Fatal Four include: falls, electrocution, struck by object, caught in/between. Hazard awareness is even more critical in an unfamiliar jobsite. It’s easy to overlook hazards, thus inspecting or assessing carefully jobsite hazards to have a proper safety plan in place before starting work is important to anticipate and control hazards. There are a number of forms helpful in assessing potential hazards: Job Hazard Analysis (JHA), Activity Hazard Analysis (AHA) and Pre-Task Safety Plans (PTSP). Companies that realized the impact of jobsite hazard assessment and safety plans prior to the project start, are working to adopt this practice effectively. Some even employ the help of technology such as creating virtual environment to predict outcomes, identifying risks from analysis of previous data, or providing workers wearable devices and virtual reality for safety training and analysis.

For more details on this topic and other findings in the 2016 SmartMarket Report, attend our FREE on-demand Webinar, where industry experts and safety leaders discuss impact of building and implementing a strong safety culture. Register Here: 

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