Archive for the ‘Risk Assessment’ Category

It’s that time of year when the weather heats up and employees wonder why they cant wear SHORTS to work.   As an employer, we have an obligation to provide a safe working environment.   We have an responsibility to conduct a hazard assessment and protect our employees.   As such, many of our facilities handle thin aluminum and steel sheets and fabricated parts and we have determined that there exists a moderate cut hazard.   Therefore, SHORTS are not permitted.

I had a lengthy discussion with a couple of safety experts that have been in the safety field for over 20 years each.   Both of these individuals are in consulting roles and have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses.   In their opinion, only companies with weak safety programs allow SHORTS in the workplace.    Further, their recommendation is for us to not wear SHORTS  based upon the materials that we work with.

We have made some leadership changes in our Human Resources department over the past few months.   The new individuals in this department are traveling to all of the facilities learning about our business and talking to employees.   One of the items that has been coming up consistently is SHORTS.    After their first visit, we explained how we conducted a risk assessment and had discussions with safety professionals on the subject.    Rather than explaining this to the employees, the human resources leadership is telling employees that they will look into it.   Why?   They are providing a false hope to the employees and, in my opinion, undermining our safety program.

I take my obligation to provide a safe working environment seriously.    It is unacceptable of any employee to be injured at work.   Further, in conducting a hazard assessment of the workplace, it has been determined that SHORTS should not be worn.  I think its pretty straight forward – what about you?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434

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This week  I was fortunate enough to sit in a two day hands-on workshop regarding RISK ASSESSMENT – I am glad that I had this opportunity.   We are always looking at ways to take our safety program up to the next level.   This session provided practical tools for us to implement and make our safety program better.

When you perform a RISK ASSESSMENT of any job or task,  you identify a multitude of potential hazards.   You mitigate the risk by controlling these hazards through administrative controls, engineering controls, or a combination of the two.   The main item that stood out for me was how much we rely on administrative controls.     When performing the RISK ASSESSMENT and looking at mitigating controls, the administrative controls provide some mitigation but engineering controls are always a better solution for protection.

The process that we learned in this workshop was to score a job or task.  The score was comprised of a severity factor (1 through 5) multiplied by a frequency factor (1 through 5) to come up with the RISK ASSESSMENT score for that particular task.   The team would then brainstorm various administrative controls (job rotation, procedures, etc) and engineering controls (tool modification, barrier guard, etc) and re-score the job after implementing these controls.    On the surface it seems very simple – why haven’t we done this before?

We have never dissected a task solely to evaluate risk and assign a score.    We implement some controls, guards, etc but never really evaluate the risk.   This RISK ASSESSMENT tool gives us the opportunity to review all jobs and prioritize where we spend our resources so we make the largest impact on the operation.

I am a firm believer in RISK ASSESSMENT – what about you?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434