As safety professionals and supervisors, it’s easy to see if a worker is not wearing their PPE, or if someone is leaning that A-frame ladder up against a wall. When you see these activities you will no doubt have a brief safety conversation with the person to correct it and get on with your day. After all, that is a cornerstone of safety management, and actually some leaders will also stop and reward people who are doing the right thing during safety observations. This is great in building safety culture, and the best part is, it doesn’t really take away from an otherwise busy day.
But what about vehicle, machinery and equipment inspections? How can you visually inspect these for safety readiness?
Whether it’s forklifts, aerial lifts, scaffolding or eye wash, they of course represent a significant safety risk, so how do you, and your employees know, they are safe and ready to use?
Most organizations give operators a pre-shift checklist to complete, either on paper or on a mobile app. We do it to keep everyone safe as well as meet regulatory standards, but do those inspections actually happen every time? Most say no, and part of the reason is that people in supervisory roles just don’t have enough time in the day to go looking for pieces of paper or run reports to figure out who has, and hasn’t done, an inspection. They would also need to find the time to locate the operator who has not done an inspection, have a safety conversation, and resolve the issue. Often times this turns out to be an ineffective means of a best practice for safety inspections.
So then what is recommended to be a best practice?
A best practice is a task that engages an operator in being responsible for their own safety inspection, and doing it properly, without the intervention of a supervisor.
We talk a lot about positive safety culture, but does that mean something different to everyone or every business? Overall a positive safety culture delivers effective communication and employee accountability with empowerment. When a safety program displays a strong safety culture, employees make the decision to be safe, without the need for supervisors to be the safety police.
See it all coming together now? Take it one step further and soon you have employees not only conducting their own safety inspections, but holding each other accountable for it as well. That’s when you know you’re really onto something great.
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How is that possible? We’re glad you asked!
Everything we’ve talked about so far, are real daily challenges within safety programs at many organizations. The need to prove compliance through record keeping, and mitigating risks can in fact prevent injuries and save lives, but we need that employee empowerment and accountability tool.
OSHA and ANSI required safety checks can indeed happen quickly and easily with visual safety checklist solutions. These are unique and patent protected solutions that engage your people in safety, drive safe working behavior, and help you take strides in achieving that overall safety culture.
Each quick inspection booklet will:
• Visibly engage the operation in doing the equipment safety check.
• Make it visually possible for supervisors, and employees to see if the check has been completed.
• Operators will sign and assume accountability with a safety first mindset.
• Keeps a record to prove inspection compliance.
• Makes maintenance pro-active, fast and easier.
• Creates an environment of safety first operators.
Written by Richard Nichols of SG World USA