Best safety feedback comes from within
Friday, January 17, 2014 John P. Coniglio - PhD, CSP, CHMM, RPIH, CSC
Is it safe? This is the most important question that needs to be answered in the workplace. Chance taking is not a proper form of risk assessment! So how do we know if it is safe? How do we know that the employee can answer that question? We train (hopefully), we set standards (hopefully above minimal compliance), and we seek feedback.
Some of the best organized feedback can come from the safety committee. These voluntary members can collect information from fellow workers, ply their knowledge reviewing issues and with proper training sort through the mundane and present information on critical items for review and discussion. Most importantly, things unnoticed now have a communication path.
We can engineer operations but no one is closer to the task than the employee, the same people that should make up the safety committee. The worker tasked with completion of the operation is the best source of information on the safe aspects and quite frankly, productivity considerations. Often, these suggestions not only affect safety considerations, but improved process and productivity.
A well-organized safety committee empowers the workforce to participate, voice their concerns, to be part of the successful operation and most importantly, part of the change. The commitment to such an effort is demanding but has great return on invested time. This form of involvement and communication is excellent.
- If you do not have a safety committee, start one! Seek out assistance to help properly organize and seek out voluntary participation. Make it important!
- If you have one, review its operation and make adjustments as needed to keep it effective.
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